Disappointing friends

by Mary
(England )

After my husband died it became apparent that some supposedly mutual friends were actually "his" friends. After sending condolences they slipped away.

I have some truly loyal friends of my own but just six couples of our mutual friends from my husband's world of work and hobbies have stepped up to the plate and maintained a supportive and caring friendship with me.

How does this happen? I feel so let down and don't know how to let go of my annoyance and disappointment with them.

One such couple walked by the house and pretended not to see me working in my front garden! I feel that these people have no sense of the pain of grief and unexpected early loss of a deeply loved one. And yet a significant number are church goers and were good at contacting my husband in a supportive way while he was ill yet still alive.

I would like to let go of the sharp pain and resentment that I feel towards these people. Just a simple phone call or invite for a cup of coffee from these folk would be all that would have been needed. Perhaps there is a fear that the spouse left behind would become too needy and hold people back when their own lives are so busy.

Grateful for help and advice here.

From Mary

Comments for Disappointing friends

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Mar 17, 2022
People are scared of grief
by: Betty from GriefandSympathy.com

Dear Mary

Thank you for reaching out to us. This can be a common problem after a bereavement.

Many people do not know what to say to friends who are bereaved. They also do not want to intrude on their friend's grief time and feel it would be inappropriate. They are also afraid they might say the wrong thing and upset you.

As time passes they may come back to resume their relationship and friendship.

It may help if you issue an invitation to drinks with the couples who are supporting you and they can see what behaviour is expected.

Sometimes we grievers need to be the ones to reach out and put our friends at ease. I suspect that they would love to do the right thing, they just don't know how.

It is wonderful that you do have some couples who have stood by you.

We wish you our sincerest condolences.

Betty and Lesley

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