razorclam Posted June 2, 2020 Report Share Posted June 2, 2020 My friend who died of cancer 14 months ago had been estranged from his family of origin the last year of his life. About 6 weeks before he died, they reached out to him, in the hope of reconciliation. Plans were made for a face to face meeting on neutral turf. Unfortunately, my friend began to physically deteriorate, and neither the meeting or the reconciliation took place. His family did attend his funeral, though. Around the one-year deathaversary, I connected to my friend’s brother on social media to offer condolences for his loss. His response was warm, grateful, and effusive. After asking how, and for how long I had known my friend (we were professional colleagues for 25 years, personal friends for 8), he asked me to share a memory of him, which I did, including some inspiring words he had written down after he got diagnosed. This was received with warmth and appreciation, though his brother did acknowledge that reading it had been very emotional. He went on to tell me of the estrangement, and the family’s lingering sorrow and pain over their failure to reconcile before the death. The message appeared to open a clear portal for future communication, as he offered to go into more depth on the subject. So I sent another reply, mostly about my friend’s professional recognition and honors. I ended it saying that he had told me of the efforts to reconnect, and had been committed to the goal of reconciliation. I thought this would comfort the family, but evidently it did not, because the communication abruptly ceased. I feel terrible, and now realize I must have hit them too hard emotionally. After no interaction with their brother and son for over 2 years, suddenly a disembodied stranger shows up and starts telling them stuff. I wish I had kept my communiques on the lighter side, although this was actually nearly impossible. My friend and I had a mostly electronic relationship, and it was intense, deep chat, knowing we did not have much time left. I have yet to see this exact situation on the blogosphere, but lots of posts about how people who are grieving sometimes drop their connections abruptly. I am very sad about this, because I never intended to offend them, and because it was so healing for me to be able to share about him, and now that’s over. 1 Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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