Jump to content
widower

Do You Feel "abandoned" By Family And/or Friends

Recommended Posts

Mitch, i am truly sorry for your loss and sometimes death really shows peoples true colors. Kay is right though, some people decide to ignore you because its contagious but to be honest, everyone will experience death. No one is immune. So they can run and hide but it will find them eventually. even knowing that I cant understand why they still avoid us.

I have one friend that has stuck by me and I told her the day he died and she helped me. She didnt know what to say but she was there yet she was the only one. No one else was really there so I can understand how you feel. I wish there was an answer to this and why they do that. Secondly, for the teenager part, I am so sorry! How sad! I feel like that might bite her in the rear end but thats none of my business. As an old teenager, I am 21 so I know how they think, I am surprised she got so angry! I was in denial and sometimes I thought my dad was being dramatic, a thought I will regret until the day I die, but its because I was hurt. thats definitely not an excuse but maybe thats why. I cant believe she left though. I snapped out of it when I really took a step back and looked at my dad. hopefully she'll come around.

Ct, I cannot believe they did that! The "yes ma'am" makes me want to reach through the screen and ring their neck! I think you should quit talking to them. they are clearly self centered and I feel that they dont even think about the pain youre going through. I cannot believe that. I can only imagine the hurt you are feeling but I too have seen some selfishness. I had a friend call me up, the day of my dads memorial, crying because her best friend was ignoring her. well thanks but you do realize that my DAD JUST DIED?! WHO CARES ABOUT YOUR DUMB FRIEND. but whatever. she has always been selfish but I never realized to what degree. agh!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Kay, I want to thank you for your kind words as well. I definitely dont think I am wise lol but I am glad you guys feel that way :) I think I needed those dark days to grow because I can definitely feel that I have become a better person now and I have really changed. I just wish I didnt need those dark days to grow like that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest

Good morning everyone. I made it through my birthday dinner last night. I sat next to my friends that went to the concert and seriously had a hard time listening to them go on and on, showing us all snapshots, talking about the people that went with them, etc.. So I went to the bathroom to catch my breath and let them change the subject. When I returned it was worse. Their daughter works in floral, so they were on the subject of mother's day. I thought "they couldn't possibly be this insensitive". I asked if we could change the subject and got an immediate apology, but then silence, for the first time. This couple tends to talk a LOT normally. So everything was moving along when finally she says to me "I know you go on a lot of outings with your other friends and you should invite me along sometimes, we seriously don't ever see each other anymore". I was floored. Inside I screamed. Outwardly I just took a sip of my drink and let it go down slowly.. then... "I can't believe you are saying that. You are so mistaken. It took me three weeks to get out of bed since the funeral. My phone doesn't ring ever. I haven't heard your voice in 2 months. We don't go on outings, nobody calls me, nobody emails me, just a few texts here and there from friends. Only our kids stay in touch with us now. Luckily I do have one friend that calls to check on us occasionally so I don't think that I'm totally crazy. How can you think that I go on outings, or anything. Aside from work I don't go anywhere, I'm not invited anywhere, what are you talking about?" ... then tears of course and I excused myself from the table and went to hang out with the smokers for a minute. She gave me "I'm so sorry I didn't know" .. but it really fell on deaf ears. Her husband didn't hear any of it, he was running his mouth about gun safes, of all things, which totally got my goat all over again. (my son died from suicide with a gun) ... My husband had to intervene. He put our two chairs closer to each others where she'd have to move or lean in uncomfortably to talk to me directly that way. The food came and I hardly ate. Our other friends pretended all was well and made nice conversation after that. But it hung there in the air, everyone wondering if they too had done what they did... had they all ignored us in the most awful weeks of our lives possible? Yes, they all had. My one friend that checks on us often and invites me out for coffee or a pedicure every couple of weeks wasn't able to attend because of the flu. She would've said more than I did and would have addressed them all, not just one.

The adult drinks came after dinner and I finished my one and readied to leave. But seeing our friends after long weeks of nothing more than facebook posts was what we really did want inside. So we stayed for two drinks and everyone left with smiles and hugs. I fully expected a phone call by now from at least one of the 6 attendees. I honestly thought I'd find well thought out emails of apology or explanation in my inbox when I arrived at work this morning. Why I set such grand (sarcasm) expectations upon our friends I'll never know. But at least I said what I needed to say to the one lady that mostly needed to hear it. Therefore I say happy birthday to me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest

Shari, I didn't feel like I could actually dump these friends after the concert thing, and the yes ma'am.. but when they bombarded me with pictures and recounts of the whole concert, talking over each other with anticipation of explaining just how great a time they had - I changed my mind. I'm done.

So now I'm trying to come up with a quick 2 or 3 sentence 'blurb' to give to each and every one of those that have left us in our darkest hour.

draft one:

"Hello ____, I have to tell you this from my heart so you don't continue to break it further. You abandoned me, us both, when we needed friends more than we ever have. We waited well over 2 months in silence and in pain. Our phones never rang. Please understand that we cannot open ourselves up to even more pain with artificial friendships. Goodbye."

I'm sure I'll edit this 10 times, but then I'll put it to memory and begin using it when the opportunity presents itself. Or I should say "if" the opportunity presents itself.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

ct, I am so, so sorry that your friends are not living up to your expectations.

Unfortunately your story is not at all unusual. :(

Have you given any more thought to finding a suicide survivor support group? I'm afraid that's one of the few places (other than our forums here) where you will find the sort of understanding, comfort and support you need and so richly deserve.

From my article, Surviving A Spouse's Suicide:

Resources for Survivors of Suicide Loss

As a survivor of suicide loss, you need to educate yourself about the subject. Read what others have written about it. See, for example, Silent Grief: Living in the Wake of Suicide, by C. Lukas and H. Seiden and read some of the Related Articles listed at the base of this post.

Visit some of the Web sites devoted to this subject:

These sites will assure you that you are not alone in this tragedy. You'll discover some ways to manage your grief, and you'll be helped to recognize that if others can survive this most devastating of losses, then you can do it, too.

Related Articles and Resources:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ctwilki,

Wow! I can't believe you had anything to do with them after they dissed you like that! You are a kinder person than I am to give them a second chance, and I think your letter is well written and says it all. Artificial friendships indeed! Who needs that!

I, too, lost friends in my husband's death. My two best friends (at the time) did not even bother going to his funeral, and they weren't sick, one decided to go to the coast instead and the other just didn't bother. Seriously? I would never do that to a friend!

I got a new friend through his death, but unfortunately, she just moved away.

You'll find it's not uncommon to change friends after a death in the family...you find out people's true colors.

Thanks, Marty, for all of the articles, I'm sure she'll find some help in them.

Shari, Yes, you are wise for your age, and you're so right about death changing us, usually for the better...it doesn't change our lives for the better, but us as people because we learn a lot through the process. It makes us much more compassionate, sensitive, we know what's important and what isn't now.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest

Yep KAY, that was strike 2 and I'm not playing baseball. It's still radio silence on my end though - no calls - no email. I don't know if it's lack of concern, shock, disbelief, or something else, but I'm getting very near to the point of 'it doesn't matter'.

Marty - thanks and Yes, we did go to an SOS meeting (survivors of suicide). The ladies we met were definitely compassionate, but they are on a quest to enlarge the group and its reach to the community. Laser focused and reaching out to the media, medical and military communities in a big way. Admirable yes - very admirable and needed - but not what we need just yet. Though I will continue to go, with or without my husband, once a month. I'm in one-on-one counseling weekly and that takes all of the grief energy that I have. She gives me homework and journaling. Last week I visited the site where he died. It took 24 hours to get up the nerve. 48 hours to get my wits about me again afterwards. I do read everything you list though. And more. I'm learning so much, and it is helping, but there's mental work to do with each thing that I learn. The process is exhausting. I hope that I'm not rushing nor lagging.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Bless your broken heart, dear one ~ You are doing just fine ~ neither rushing nor lagging. Does anyone really think there is a better way to do what you are doing?! You are living a parent's worst nightmare, and I can assure you that there is no right or wrong way to do this. You are doing what you feel able to do, and my prayer for you is that you will let it be enough. Just make sure to take care of your physical body (sufficient nutrition, hydration, rest, exercise) so you won't get sick and you'll have the strength to keep on going. That in itself is a very tall order, especially when everything inside of you must be screaming "Why bother? Who cares?" I can assure you that we do care ~ and we are here for you.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

CT, you are doing what you can, and it will all help. As for friends, you are sure to make new...and better...friends, ones who are real and are there for you.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest

I could use some new friends. One new friend would be good. I'll pray about that today.

This weekend we are going to Louisiana to see 3 of our adult kids that live in Baton Rouge, and my Dad, and our son's gravesite for the first time. He's laid next to his sister and my mother. I suspect it will be terribly hard to arrive and to leave. But I know I'll have family with me.

Still no word from my friends about my outburst at the birthday dinner. I continue to be surprised, but I don't know why.

I want to wish you all a Very Happy Easter.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You are surprised by their seeming lack of conscience, but that's because you wouldn't have treated them that way if situations were reversed.

I'll be thinking of you as you go to LA, I know it'll be emotional, but maybe good too.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am still greatful for the friends t make, because even though I miss MOM more aroung holidays and all, just yesterday I gave a friend one of her pretty touch lamps! OMG, my other best close friend just told me she was in tears,since she had a water damage in her Home. I lived through that in 2010 , so l know what it is like to lose stuff too! I also got very I'll, my Family does not believe me enough I got so bad could not keep down Water, had a strange dream I met my Poppa who passed away in 2003, I was in a tunnel with him, had to go back, and still with Mom.Anyway this friend loved my gift happy Easter to everyone. Still having computer trouble, this tablet Not as great as my laptop, so if you son,t hear from me that's why. God bless you all xx

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I believe that was a near death experience through your dream, I had one in a dream and one while awake once. I felt I had a choice to go or stay and I stayed because I wasn't done here yet.

Have been really missing my mom, maybe because it's Easter and if she was alive I would be with her, I haven't heard from my own kids, I don't understand that, don't they know life is so short and unpredictable and they will miss me when I'm gone and it'll be too late then? Anyway, I wore a dress my mom gave me to church this morning, it made me feel closer to her.

I can't use my laptop or Kindle right now because my router quit working and I bought another one and it didn't work either, so waiting for my son to get one and set it up, may be waiting a few more months or so as I don't see him much. It's harder for me to use the Kindles except to read a book, just don't understand their operating system I guess, wish things came with manuals but I guess they expect us to just figure everything out now. Shows my age, I like manuals!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Kay, my dear, I am with you about those manuals ~ I always need written directions when it comes to machinery and technology. I think you will find the manual for your Kindle online if you Google the words Kindle manual along with your model number. Nowadays manufacturers don't spend money on paper and printing. Instead, they put their user manuals online, so YOU get to supply the paper and printer ink. ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ctwilki,

Please forgive me if I speak out of turn here, but the so-called friends you talked about are not your friends; instead, they are long-term companions. If it feels better to you to write to these FB friends, write to feel the release of hurt and anger. Were I you, I would drop them (easier said than done, I know), because there is nothing you can do to repair such a breach, except for perhaps a brief period, because you will remember how they've behaved during your exceptionally great need.

You are doing well to get counseling. The one-on-one counseling will likely help you more, yet you might learn something (a tool) to help you in the other meetings. No one anywhere will understand "exactly" what you are feeling, but it seems those who have experienced losing someone they love to suicide will understand your pain best. I've lost my first husband and nephew to suicide, and my 17-year-old niece (and her husband) to murder. Even so, I cannot fathom losing a child in any way. I cannot say that I know how you feel. I can say only that I care very much that you are hurting so badly. You are doing well also to read everything Marty suggests to you. I'm no expert, but it seems to me that you are doing everything you can to help yourself, and you're doing it well.

I, too, would like a new friend. My husband Jerry and I are semi-isolated on a mountain in the Sierra Nevada Mtns., and most people in our small, rural subdivision are younger and work. We live among "weekenders" and vacationers as well. Friends, those who will tell you to remove the spinach from between your teeth, or that you need to lose a few pounds before you pour yourself into your favorite dress again, and have you still love them, are more rare than amethyst. I've had a few such friends in my 70 years, but not even one locally now. One of my best friends moved away, and the other one died. Most of our close friends had sense enough to leave this mountain, and get to lower elevations, or go live near their children. We may need to move, but that would be difficult; our tap root has been growing here for over 30 years.

Like you, I've found my way here to our Forum, and we here are a family also. Shucks. I'll bet we feel closer to each other than to some family members, or to some friends. You are welcome here. We will move over and give you room to sit down with us.

Blessings and hugs,

Carrie

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest

Thank you all.

It is indeed overly frustrating and sad as my closest friends move out of my life, and it's like I'm mourning their friendships as well as Matthew's death. I doubt they understand how much harder this has been on me, but because they haven't bothered with me in our hardest time ever I have to agree with you, all of you. They aren't friends. Friends wouldn't cause me extra strife by ignoring us. It's been 10 weeks today. To me - that's beyond the time to 'give us our space' ... I'm sure everyone's idea of time is different, but close friends know me well enough to know. If that makes any sense.

I got the obligatory 'happy easter' texts yesterday from 3 of my friends, but knowing how tough our first holiday would be leaves me again feeling like they should have at least called. So I am beginning my breakups as the opportunities arise. If they arise. I have to protect myself from further injury and this is the only way that I can see to do so.

Easter was tough, as expected. The 7 hour drive over there was probably the hardest part. Lots of silent tears. Radio on - songs made me sad. Radio off - silence made me sad. There was no consoling me. Visiting with Dad and the kids was good, not great but good. I made people uncomfortable - I do realize that - but they are family and understood. I didn't obligate myself to cook anything beyond baking a cake. I'm usually the main cook so that was a change. I missed my Mom and Grandmother a lot being at my Dad's house. Mom's paintings are everywhere, and her many houseplants inside and out are almost all dead now. I asked my Dad to get the landscaper over soon as all of her outdoor plants are very much overgrown. It bothers me that he doesn't have them kept up as well as he should now that she's gone, but his priorities are very different than hers.

My oldest brother and his wife came over for lunch on Saturday and I was sad that they didn't ask how we are doing at all. They have their first grandchild due in a month and that's all they could talk about. I'm happy for them, but they too are on the list of people that don't call me ever anymore, sadly. He did drive to Texas for the funeral, but then silence followed, and I don't understand it, just like my friends.

After mass on Sunday we went straight to the cemetery where we visited Matthew's gravesite for the first time since his burial. It was disappointing as the headstone is still not in place. So it's just a large plot of ugly dirt amongst well maintained grass and flowers. His spot lay ugly. I hated that so much. Then when I realized that I wouldn't be the first one to put flowers his vase, as it will be installed in a 'couple of weeks' (they say) ... I got more upset and just went to the car. We returned later - alone this time - and that was better, even in the rain.

Matthew and I sang every song that would could on road trips, especially the long drives to Louisiana that we took about quarterly, and I have yet to allow myself to sing along with the radio since he died. The one song that got me bawling this weekend was written for Blake Shelton's deceased brother and sung by his wife Miranda Lambert, it's named "over you". It is still playing in my head this morning. Tomorrow night is one-on-one counseling. I hope that it's out of my head by that time and my mind has drifted over to happier memories. Matthew had a deep base voice, like Josh Turner, and his choir directors over the years have just loved putting him front and center many times. I'll watch one of those videos right after work today. They always make me smile.

God Bless you all this Easter season.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest

I called upon a distant friend last night, one that I haven't seen in over 10 years. She said dumb things like 'I know how you feel' but I really needed to talk to someone other than my husband. He seems to be getting a little frustrated with me and has repeated to me twice that I need to get over it. I know he means the best, and he wants me to move forward, but he puts me in a position that I don't want to be in, in a closed off position, isolated. Dawn was helpful though. She reminded me that this is not my fault. That from the pictures alone she can see a loving set of parents and step parents that sent all of their kids to college, that dragged all of their kids to church, on vacations, and through lessons of every sort. She said our christmas morning pictures showed we were giving parents, and our group photos showed we were close enough to each of them that we could hug and grin off camera an on. I needed to hear these things, as the guilt-monster keeps whispering in my ear. I know it's a stage that I must work through and that I must learn through. It's tough though. Should I make a list of regrets or things that I would have done differently? Maybe if I write the list I can then dismiss each item as inadequate reasons for him to take his life. Maybe the list will be long enough to make my guilt-monster louder. I'll ask the counselor tonight. Your thoughts?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My dear, although I understand completely your need to do so (and as a mom I'm sure I would feel the same) I think if you searched forever for adequate reasons for your son's decision to take his life, you'd never find an answer that satisfies. I also think that the "guilt monster" will keep whispering in your ear until you feel as if you've punished yourself severely enough, and you feel strong enough and secure enough ~ and sufficiently equipped with the tools you will learn to use over time ~ to silence its voice.

As for listing your regrets, you might try doing so by writing a letter to your son, saying all you need to say to him. Then try writing a response back to yourself, but in your son's voice, as if he were speaking to you. Some have found these methods to be quite effective. (See, for example, the website AfterTalk.com)

I also invite you to read these articles, which contain some tips for coping with guilt:

Guilty, Your Honor: The Burden of Guilt After a Suicide Loss

Grief and the Burden of Guilt and

Guilt and Regret in Grief

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here is "Over You" Miranda Lambert:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am so sorry for all you are going through. While many of us have wanted to die at times, we realize it's the struggle we want out of, not life, and we would never want to hurt our family members. But sometimes someone isn't thinking about anything except their pain and they feel it's too great...it's then that we wish they would have turned to us instead of the choice they made. Many of us have had someone we were close to commit suicide. Having a child do so seems unfathomable. I'm glad Dawn was there for you to talk to. Yes, sometimes people say inappropriate things but when we know their heart's in the right place, we can overlook some of those things. When they're totally clueless though, we don't need that and sometimes need to protect ourselves from them. I'm sorry your husband doesn't understand. (((hugs)))

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest

Thank you Marty and Kay. I read all of the articles. I think that I will start a list (my bricks) so that I can eliminate them one by one. As for my friends and relatives ignoring me (for 10 weeks and counting) they must:

1. be afraid to make me upset

2. be assuming that someone else is surely supporting me so they don't need to

3. have forgotten about me repeatedly and now it's just easier to do so

4. think I'm such a strong woman that I don't need help

5. have heard that I'm rejecting help

6. be afraid of the words - suicide, gunshot, death

7. be overly attending to their own families because of the fear this suicide has awakened in them

8. assume that a 'like' on a facebook post or a text message occassionally is just as good as a phone call or a visit

9. assume that my marriage is a mess to avoid now, or my marriage is so strong that we are enough support for each other

10. have broken ovens, broken cars, broken phones and broken souls all at once.

ok that last one was sarcasm - but it's the one that rings in my mind when I'm feeling sorry for myself.

So here's my list of excuses for them to choose from. If I hear that they are 'giving me space' I'll do the same in return. I'm sorry I'm so bitter sounding today. I know it's wrong. It's just what I have to go through right now. I'm not a bitter person. Well, I wasn't a bitter person before. This is temporary.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My dear, there are precious few places where you can share so honestly what you are feeling without fear of being judged. This is one of those places. You are safe here.

There is no need to be sorry for sounding so bitter today. If losing your beloved son to suicide is not reason enough to feel bitter, please tell me what would be.

Feelings are neither right or wrong, good or bad ~ they just ARE ~ and when we find a safe place to acknowledge and express our feelings, they dissipate. It is when we stuff them or deny them or run from them that we get into trouble.

Please know that here you can share whatever it is that you are thinking or feeling, and no one will judge or criticize you for doing so.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Marty is so right, feelings just "are". I'd sound a heck of a lot more bitter than you do if I was in your place! And your "friends" are fortunate that YOU are dealing with them and not any of us! We'd like to wallop them! You deserve better. Maybe they are being cleaned out of your life to make way for BETTER friends, I hope so!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest

Good morning,

In counseling last night I learned that I need to add another item to my above list of reasons that my friends aren't helping me through this pain, and that is: because they've never needed to before. I'm one of those 'got it all figured out' people. She said that if I let people know that I've removed my Superman cape that they might come and assist me. I agree somewhat, but I still feel that they should see it's off on their own.

We also talked about what I'm avoiding now, and my homework is to create a list of those things. Like the grocery store, singing along to the radio in the car, and driving anywhere near the high school, I'm avoiding pain instead of working through it. These things only make me sad instead of bringing up nice memories instead. I'm glad she didn't ask me to do them, just list them.

Do you have things, places, actions, etc that you still avoid?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For a long time I had a hard time going to the grocery store, my daughter did it for me. It was also hard for me to run errands and pick up Rxs, because my husband had always done it, it was a trigger for me. I did have to start a couple of months after his death though, my daughter couldn't do it forever, esp. since we're 60 miles away from these places. It was hard for me to go to church (I'm on the morning worship team, on the platform) because I could look out and see his empty pew. It still hits me sometimes, it did this Sunday since I was in a Cantata and I knew he would have been there beaming at me...

I think your counselor is on to something...we expect people to read our minds and know what we want from them but they can't or don't so we need to be clear to them exactly what we want from them and sometimes it helps to spell it out for them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×