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seachelle

When friends who've been through it too, don't want to talk

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I've encountered a curious occurrence.  I know we routinely encourage each other to seek out and talk to others who have experienced grief. In my case, my grief is for my mom.  I reached out to a good friend from high school on facebook, we aren't as close as we used to be but we've maintained contact through the years on FB, after losing touch in our 20's.  By the time we reconnected, it seems both of her parent's had passed.  We are both in our early 30's.  In a moment of weakness, i messaged her, desperate to hear from someone else who's been through it, someone I actually know. She hasn't responded and I'm hurt but also embarrassed that I likely brought up a topic she would like not to think about.

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I was both puzzled and surprised that people who have already lost their beloved, spouse, family, friend, etc.. would not express how they coped with the initial loss.  It was the people that I never expected to listen and share who actually did.  At first I was angry and upset because I assumed they KNEW what I was going through.  I just wanted consolation and assurance of how to deal with grief.  It is by sharing and being a part of this community that has helped me the most in dealing with the grief and loss of my beloved wife. 

I realized through study, research, and reading that every person deals with grief differently and to expect them to act a certain way was just my EXPECTATION that I put on them to conform to my perception of my world and grief.  There are many good resources here that MartyT offeres to help us. 

Each of us needs to search for our own pathway through this grief.  This is a safe place to ask, share, learn, and grow with everyone here as each of us is going through grief. - Shalom

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I am sorry if you did not find the comfort you were looking from you friend maybe they are not ready to share their story,maybe they never will it is hard to share even with people who are going through their own grief journey it took me awhile to feel comfortable opening up here and even longer for me to feel I could share what helps me cope do not feel bad or take it personally  you are so right George we are all on our own journey but we are blessed to have found fellow grievers who share their pain in order to try and help another grieving soul.

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seachelle,

I'm sorry you didn't get more from your friend than a terse acknowledgement, but you have nothing to feel embarrassed about.  Her response showed that she's not able to be there for you in this, and it's due to her not you.  Maybe it's too painful to her, maybe she doesn't have anything to offer you, it could be that she is struggling and doesn't know her way through this.

I'm glad you are coming here, you've been there for others and I hope you are gleaning something from this site that is helpful to you in your journey.  Grief is very personal and touchy, one of the hardest things we can go through, and as you've learned, it's ongoing.  It doesn't get over with after the funeral or the estate is settled.  Just as our love continues, so does our grief.  

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I had a similar experience - I reached out to a friend/colleague who suddenly & unexpectedly lost her husband last December. My sudden loss was more recent, 1 month ago.  She didn't respond either.

 

The thing that seems tricky is that my grief stirs up stuff for other people. They may have unresolved grief, may not be in touch with their feelings, or may be hurting too much themselves to engage with someone else with raw & intense feelings. I have found that grief often makes other people uncomfortable and only some people- and not always those I would expect - are able to connect & support.  In the end it's more about them & their limitations than about me, but it sure does feel painful when I ask for help and don't get it. 

Thanks for posting, I relate to your experience 

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Jen, I am sorry you also are going through this.  You are very wise, I so agree with everything you said!

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It took her a while to respond, i'm sure she was weighing the cost/benefits but she did get back to me and we exchanged numbers and agreed to be there for each other in moments of weakness.  I don't know if I will ever choose to call her, but it's comforting to know someone is there if I do need to talk.

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