I need some advice

Discussion in 'Chit Chat' started by HeavenlyRN, May 26, 2010.

  1. HeavenlyRN

    HeavenlyRN New Member

    For once I have a serious question. Here's the situation:

    My best friend from middle school and beyond just lost her mother. My friend lives on the west coast. I live in NY. She also has multiple medical problems. Over the past 20 years or so our communication has been sporadic but that never created a problem. We always seemed to be able to pick up where we left off. At the very beginning of the year I found her e-mail address on a scrap of paper on my messy ol' desk. I wrote a quick, shot e-mail to her just confirming that it was, in fact, her current e-mail address.

    Several days later I got a 2-line response from her. Can' remember what it was exactly, but it went something like this....."I don't think so. I need a friend who communicates more than every 2 years."

    I felt as if I had been punched in the chest and told her so in an equally as brief return e-mail. Soon after, I wrote a 3 page letter explaining what had been going on with me and why I hadn't been writing. I sent it by "snail mail." About a week after I sent it, I had a sudden realization that I had put the wrong last name on the envelope. I sent her yet another e-mail apologizing for that and again attributed it to my brain fog, etc.

    I never heard a word from her.

    Now, her mom has died. Her mom and dad live(d) here (her dad is still living). Her mom was like a second mom to me when I was growing up. I spent the summer in Great Britain with their family. This was not a casual relationship.

    Here's my problem: I want to reach out to her to tell her that I'm thinking about her and that I'm sorry about the loss of her mom. I hesitate about calling her because (1) I don't want to leave a message if she has caller ID and decides not to pick up or isn't home, or (2) I don't want to have an awkward situation if she DOES pick up the phone.

    The service for her mom isn't for another 2 weeks. That's a long time to go without a note or card of some kind. I fully intend on going to the service, because as I said, her mom was like a second mom to me. I know the family well. However, I don't want to cause my friend more stress by showing up.

    Oh hells bells - I just don't know what to do.

    Do I call? Do I send her a note soon? Do I just show up at the service without first having acknowledged her mom's death?

    I think I'm too close to the situation (obviously) to make a rational decision.

    Can anyone help me with this? Thanks.
  2. 3gs

    3gs New Member

    You should definetly send a card or call right away. It will be a lot more akward if you just show up to the service.

    Your friend needs you now and so does the family. Put aside the loss of communication and hurt feelings for another time. Who knows maybe this will be the start of communiticating again.

    Call the family also.
  3. spacee

    spacee Member

    I agree with 3gs. Hoping/praying this can be a restart of your friendship.

  4. Misfit101

    Misfit101 New Member

    I dont know if this is right or wrong...its just what i would do. I would send a card with a heartfelt note inside and id allude to my intention of attending the funeral. This way if your presence is going to upset her she has the chance to let you know. Im sorry youre going thru this. Truly.
  5. victoria

    victoria New Member

    I'd do the following IF it feels right...
    ie, send her a very short note, allude to the fact you'll be at the funeral and then go--
    if only for the reason that it's what you want to do because you feel right in doing it since I'm sure you're feeling some loss as well. How long you stay depends on what kind of reception you receive, not only from her but other friends/family that are present.

    If she snubs you, you'll have your answer but maybe feel good that you went anyway because you're honoring her mother and the whole family since you'd had such good times when you're young.

    It seems we all get into these kinds of situations one way or another & sooner or later in our lives, even without illness.

    hope that helps...

  6. Puddleglum

    Puddleglum New Member

    I guess my response is a little different. After reading Safe People by Cloud & Townsend I think her email was direct & let you know where she stands. Guessing you would not want to be hurt by this situation or put more stress on yourself.

    How about a card & note to family with the acceptance that you dont expect anything in return from her. Then grieve & move foward.

  7. monica33flowers

    monica33flowers New Member

    Make myself present to her and the family. If she doesn't want to have anything to do with you then so be it. But the rest of the family will remember you were their for them when they lost their mother.

    I do this with people who showed support when my father died of cancer. It always seems when they see me they find someone they feel that they can relate to and are very grateful. The deed never goes unseen by any family members at least in my community.
  8. HeavenlyRN

    HeavenlyRN New Member

    ....I appreciate your thoughts.

    Here's an update. I decided to call my friend's brother who lives here in town. I'm so glad I called. We had a great conversation, did some reminiscing and some laughing.

    I wasn't going to mention the e-mail I had received from his sister, but then the moment just seemed right. I told him that I had considered not going to the funeral. He immediately said, "You're my sister, of course you're going to come." We discussed how close our 2 families had been. He made me feel much better and I asked him to let me know if he sensed that his sister/my friend was more stressed because I was there.

    But, I think it will be OK. I'll be going with my parents.

    The calling hours are tomorrow and the funeral service is Saturday. I'll let y'all know how it goes.

    And thanks again to everyone for your suggestions!
  9. HeavenlyRN

    HeavenlyRN New Member

    I went to the funeral today. Strangely, I didn't cry at all during the funeral (maybe it's 'cause of my years as a hospice nurse). Anyway, I didn't start crying until I was in the receiving line (is that what it's called at a funeral, or just at weddings?). My mom and dad were in front of me and were talking to my friend and her dad. The minute it was my "turn" to talk to my friend, I started sobbing!

    She seemed a little surprised to see me. I said, "How're you doing?" (What a stupid question, by the way!) Then I sort of apologized for asking such a stupid question. We said a couple of pleasantries to each other, then I gave her a hug, looked her right in the eye and said, "Please feel free to write, OK?" She said she would.

    I don't know if that meant that she would feel free to write to me (without actually intending to write) or that she would write!

    Anyway - I went to the funeral,ad lots of hugs with her family and I don't think my presence upset her.

    I think I will write her a short note telling her that it was good to see her again and leave it at that.

    I want to thank everyone who responded, and I appreciate the differences of opinion. It certainly gave me food for thought.

    Thanks - Jan

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