Behind Closed Doors: Suicide and your best friend

At Any Other Woman, you can talk about anything. Anything you want at all. Any subject, any time. We are proud to be able to provide that platform for you, it makes our hearts sing. But we do understand that sometimes there are topics that are too sensitive, too divisive, simply too hard to write about and broadcast without a second thought. No-one wants to hurt their loved ones unnecessarily and yet sometimes a story needs to be told.

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Back in February, my life as I knew it was abruptly put on hold. My stepfather had a nervous breakdown and went missing in Istanbul while on route to India for work. He left the airport on his two hour layover, not even bothering to pick up his suitcase. He went into the city and just disappeared. After 18 years of sobriety he had fallen off the wagon and decided he didn’t want anything to do with his old life. He wouldn’t respond to my calls, my mum’s calls or his daughter’s. His family, work colleagues and the American Embassy did their best to track him, and finally found him in a hotel. He was confused, emotional, and didn’t know what to do.

At 5pm on a Monday afternoon I was sitting at my desk in work when I got a text from my mum that read “George just committed suicide.” My world slammed to a stop and everything I had built up around me over the past 29 years, everything I knew, fell from where it had been carefully stored away and lay in a heap of rubble at my feet. He had jumped out of the window of his hotel.

At that moment I took myself to a quiet room and tried to keep myself from shaking and sobbing too loudly in a full office. I couldn’t get in touch with my boyfriend because he was in a meeting so I called my best friend and begged her to come and get me. Eventually my boyfriend called me back and immediately jumped in a taxi to come and collect me. I called my best friend back and said I could manage to get home on my own.

My best friend, who I have known for ten years and has always referred to me as her best friend as well, said she couldn’t come and see me that night because she had plans, though she didn’t say what they were but I didn’t ask. She sent me some messages that evening and then went quiet. Over the next few weeks she went on holiday and I didn’t hear from her. She updated her facebook status regularly and posted photos, but my phone was silent.

As life slowly went on, and I went back to work after three weeks off for compassionate leave, I started to find everyday life difficult. Interacting with people and traveling on the underground was too uncomfortable. I would spontaneously start crying and would find it hard to stop. The trauma feels like it has broken a link in my mind, I suffer momentary memory losses where for a second or two I am afraid of the man sleeping in my bed who I don’t recognise as my boyfriend of four years. For half a second I am panicking on the train because I don’t know where I am or how I got there. Not to mention the lack of sleep, the crippling guilt that maybe I could have done something for George, the constant iron band restricting my lungs.

The story was everywhere, every day it showed up somewhere new – the Daily Mail, the BBC, the local papers. During the worst of it, my best friend was nowhere to be found. I didn’t have it in me to reach out to her, I thought she must know that things weren’t easy for me and with that knowledge was keeping away – but I couldn’t think of a reason why.

About three months after the fact she contacted me and said we should meet. I waited for her at a Starbucks and when she arrived we were both a little awkward. I had said before we met that I didn’t want to talk about the details of what had happened, I couldn’t bear to relive them and doing so would take longer than the hour and a half she had available for me before she had to meet her boyfriend.

She talked about her work, how she hates her job, moving in with her boyfriend, troubles with her family. For an hour and a half she talked about herself, even at one point reliving a conversation she had with her boyfriend about how difficult his job is and saying “I mean, all he does is complain and no one is having a harder time in life right now than me.” I just stared at her. At the end of the coffee she laughed and said she hadn’t asked how I was doing once. “Oh well, next time, we need to meet more often.” She gave me a hug and left. That was two months ago and I have heard from her only two, maybe three times since, only by text and usually to complain about her job. She does ask how I am, but I feel as though if she really cared she would call me or come to see me.

Now I have heard from her again and she wants to meet for dinner. I am coping better these days thanks to the NHS bereavement counselling service, but the slightest bit of confrontation or disquiet has the potential to shake my fragile semblance of normality. I know that at this meeting she will talk about herself non-stop, but also that she will sense that I am guarding myself against her and she will ask why. I will feel guilty if I ask where she has been, and guilt is one emotion I don’t need more of right now.

I am afraid that this has been a lesson in learning who my real friends are, and it breaks my heart to realise that she is not one of them. But I think I have known this for a long time.

I’ve always had problems with self-doubt, but since the events of last February, what shred of confidence I had in seeing situations clearly has all but disappeared. I wonder if I am being unrealistic, if maybe I am asking too much of someone I expected to know me better and to be there for me when life is at its most difficult. At least with a phone call, or a cup of tea, or something. I am always afraid of over-burdening people, and try not to ask for anything beyond someone to listen to me – mostly I just needed someone to keep me company. But what with difficulties with hating her job, moving in with her boyfriend, or maybe other things that have been happening in her life that I don’t know about… maybe my expectations are unreasonable. Maybe I am being unfair in feeling let down.

Is this a lesson in finding out what ‘real friend’ means? Or is it a lesson in not relying on anyone but yourself? Maybe some burdens are just too heavy to share, and expecting support in situations like this is beyond the call of friendship.

Categories: Behind Closed Doors
23 interesting thoughts on this


  1. Fee
    Posted August 8, 2013 at 7:26 am | Permalink

    I’m so so sorry for the loss of your stepfather. That you have written about grief in such a way when you are still grieving is amazing. Your description of the way you feel has mrought years to my eyes as I do rarely hear someone else so accurately describe how it feels.

    I don’t think you are unreasonable for expecting the support of your best friend. I’m sure she has lots of stuff going on but she should be able to push that to one side when her best friend suffers such a significant bereavement. I’ve written about this before and whilst I understand that some people don’t know what to say, you shouldn’t have to deal with that why you’re grieving. Saying something, anything, even just a text message only takes a moment. I completely understand why you are so hurt.

    I think maybe the key thing (as I see it) is that she has ‘missed’ it. I think a bereavement like this changes you, unavoidably, and people who were there before, during and after (or just during and after) can understand this. If someone was there before and after but not during, it affects the relationship you had before.

    I’ll stop now for fear of rambling but I’m trying to say that I empathise – whilst some relationships have changed for the worse in my life, others have definitely (and unexpectedly) changed for the better. I hope those in your life who have supported you will make up for the gap left by your friend.

    This really is such a brave post, sending you and your family love and strength xx

  2. Lee-Anne
    Posted August 8, 2013 at 7:52 am | Permalink

    Im am so sorry for the loss of your stepfather, you sre so brave to be able to write so openly and honestly about your grief. As for the situation with your friend, I agree with Fee, she has missed it. I understand some people don’t know what to say in certain situations but that does not excuse not being there for your friend. A text, a card anything just to let you know that they are there for you doesn’t take long and can go along way to helping you.

    If it was me I wouldnt want to meet up with her due to fear of a confrontation, its not what you need at the moment. However if you think it would help and maybe give you some sort of closure then go for it.

    Love and hugs to you x

  3. Posted August 8, 2013 at 8:24 am | Permalink

    I am so sorry to hear about the loss of your step father. I think that you are very brave to share this post.

    I have so many things I want to say about friends and those you think would be there for you when you are at your lowest but I somehow can’t formulate the right words. So all I want to say is I hope that you continue to be strong and find a way through this, things won’t be the same but I hope you have the support of others around you to help you through – even if that can’t be your friend.

    Sending you and your family my very best wishes and big hugs xx

  4. Anon
    Posted August 8, 2013 at 8:27 am | Permalink

    I’m so sorry to hear all this, you write so beautifully.

    I had a similar experience with a best friend from school when my mum died, she was away travelling at the time but when she came back didn’t seem interested in me or what had happened if anything she seemed to pick fights with me. It was too much for me to deal with when I was still grieving for my mum so I just stopped seeing her and focused on the friends that were there for me. I still don’t know why she changed so much but others have said it was because she didn’t know what to say or do. it’s helpful for you to see its the other persons failing not yours.

    I’m sorry this has happened to you i hope others have stepped in to fill the gap she left.

    Love and hugs. Xox

  5. ChirstyMac
    Posted August 8, 2013 at 8:38 am | Permalink

    I cannot imagine what you must have gone through, and still be going through, though I have to say through your brilliantly described writing I can try and imagine. And my heart goes out to you.

    As I am lucky enough to not have had to deal with anything similar so hesitate in offering any opinions or advice, but I did want to pick up on your closing wondering: “maybe my expectations are unreasonable. Maybe I am being unfair in feeling let down”. I really TRULY believe you aren’t being unreasonable or unfair in your expectations. You HAVE been let down, and it isn’t fair. It is sad. It is what it is, but I do not believe that you have any reason at all to think that you should have expected or settled for less than you hoped. A friendship, especially a best friendship, to me, comes with a kind of unwritten contract, a bit like a marriage: ‘for better, for worse’ and in that respect you have been cheated.

    I hope you can find whatever closure you need and can continue to find solace and comfort from that those that have been and are there to support you, unconditionally.

  6. Fiona
    Posted August 8, 2013 at 9:01 am | Permalink

    I can’t imagine how you felt going through that, and I’m so very glad that you’ve managed to get some beneficial help from the NHS bereavement counselling service and the people who did stand by you and help you through it. I hope that writing some of this down has been helpful too.

    As for your friend, it’s hard to know what to say: as Chirsty says above, you have been let down. I don’t know what your friendship was like before, and how easily you could tell her how much her lack of support hurt you, so I don’t know the next step. However, I don’t think it’s as easy as being a “lesson”. It’s just something horrendous – you can learn something from it if you wish to try, but if all you do is cope and heal, that’s ok.


  7. Posted August 8, 2013 at 9:14 am | Permalink

    Such a brave and emotive post, thank you Anon for sharing. I hope we can all help.

    In terms of your friend, you say maybe you have known she isn’t a real friend for a long time now? Maybe she has always been this selfish and un-supportive but you’ve never needed her before so never noticed? I am sorry people can be so disappointing.

    Luckily there are loads of people who are completely selfless and will be there for you. It sounds like your boyfriend is one of them. Hopefully this community can be another. Hugs. xx

  8. Louise
    Posted August 8, 2013 at 9:16 am | Permalink

    Firstly, I’m so sorry for your loss – but thank you for speaking about it so honestly. The behaviour of your friend is terrible, and I don’t think in any way are you giving her a hard time. Sadly suicide is not talked about much, and so many people don’t know how to react – I think they forget that it is a bereavement like any other and get scared they’ll say the wrong thing. My uncle committed suicide and it devastated our family, I know from firsthand experience that some people simply don’t know how to deal with it – so they stick their head in the sand and don’t deal with it at all. However, your friend is an adult – life is tough and she should have faced up to this. Personally I don’t think I could move on with a friendship like this, I’d always resent those months she disappeared from my life. If you feel you can’t confront her fully, have you considered writing a letter to explain your feelings? Kind of old school I know but it would give you the opportunity to explain why you feel let down, and would give her space to read and digest it properly before responding. Whatever you decide, I wish you all the best and know that you have lots of support from these pages xx

  9. Alison
    Posted August 8, 2013 at 9:18 am | Permalink

    I am so sorry that you have had to go through this awful experience but am glad you are getting help and are starting to come through the other side. As I sadly know, grief is a lifelong experience but it does get easier and life can be happy and bright again.

    To echo what everyone else has said, I believe you have been let down by your best friend. It is the tough times that test all relationships – family, friends, partner – and she has been left wanting. However I obviously don’t know her or your relationship but could she be trying to take your mind off things by going on about her own fairly mundane problems? She might think she’s being a good friend by ignoring things and is waiting for you to bring it up if you want to talk about it. She might say she was giving you space to grieve by not being around or texting. I don’t think it’s the right way to behave and from what you say, it’s certainly not what you needed but I’m just trying to see things from her perspective.

    Writing this has been incredibly brave and I hope it has helped. Would it also help to write her a letter, explaining how you feel about how she’s been? I get totally what Fee has said about ‘missing’ it. It’s gone, she can’t go back and be a better friend during the really tough times but only you can decide what kind of friendship you have in the future. I wish you all the best for the future and hope things keep getting a bit easier. One day at a time. xx

  10. Posted August 8, 2013 at 9:35 am | Permalink

    Everyone has written so sensitive and eloquently in response, afraid I’m going to buck the trend. The way your friend behaved was inexcusable. However awkward she felt or however much was going on in her life, she couldn’t give a little more support? Honestly? When something so huge happens in your BEST friend’s life you drop everything and rise above your own shit to be there for them. Sounds like you’ve given a lot of yourself to this, do you really want to give any more when you’re getting so little back? I agree with Fee, it’s a real shame but I think she’s missed the boat now. Keep your real friends close and look after yourself. The fact that you’re wondering whether to meet with her already shows strength and self care. Good on you.


    • Becca
      Posted August 8, 2013 at 9:51 am | Permalink

      I couldn’t agree more with Penny.Her behaviour is completely inexcusable. Even if she didn’t know what to say (and I’m not sure I would either), I’d send cards that just said “I’m thinking of you” or I’d sit in a dark room and just BE if thats what she wanted, I would not burden her with MY OWN SELFISH CRAP. And I also noted you said she only gave you an hour and a half because she was meeting her boyfriend…..I would NEVER do that to any kind of friend or colleague, never mind a best friend. Its also this fact that makes me think she isn’t being noble or wise by trying to take your mind of it, she’s just being a horrific horrific friend.

      I really believe that sometimes you have to be able to let go of friends because you have grown apart (believe me, I’ve been there recently). It sounds to me that she has a billion insignificant things that she is prioritising above a friend that really needs her – do you really want to be friends with that person? It really sounds like you’ve grown up and she hasn’t. I can’t believe what a completely selfish person she is and you clearly deserve so much better.

      I’m glad you are getting the support you need from the NHS but know that we are all here if you ever want to share again x x x

    • Katielase
      Posted August 8, 2013 at 10:57 am | Permalink

      I have to agree with Penny and Becca, I am outraged on your behalf, to me what she has done is not the behaviour of a real friend. I understand that she has issues and problems, and I don’t know her and there may be reasons behind her actions but to be brutally honest, most people have shit to deal with in their lives, and sometimes you have to put your own concerns down to help someone else shoulder theirs, when theirs are overwhelming. That’s friendship. That’s love, actually (and friendship is just another form of love). She has clearly placed her own concerns above yours, and this was not the time for that.

      I am so so sorry for what you’ve been through, although you may not feel it, you are being so strong. It is impossible to overestimate the effects that such a traumatic and devastating experience can have on your life, and I’m glad you’ve had help. This community is always here if you need to rant, or cry, or simply be.

      KL x

  11. Anon
    Posted August 8, 2013 at 9:48 am | Permalink

    You are so very brave for writing this and you have done it so very eloquently I don’t know where to start with a response so I’ll just jump right in. I’ve been through something vaguely similar when my mother attempted suicide and certain friends were simply nowhere to be seen. One of those same friends also didn’t come to see me when I had just come out of intensive care after a complication during surgery because ‘I had enough people around’. I think that there are some people who simply cannot cope with other people’s pain and their coping mechanism is to walk away. It’s so hard to deal with and something you really don’t need given everything else you are going through. That you are able to write about this so clearly tells me you have done a bloody good job of tackling this so far. I echo what everyone above has said, she really HAS let you down and you are not being unreasonable at all. I don’t think much of what I have said makes sense or will help you, I guess I just wanted to say I’m on your side.
    I have also ended a friendship with someone who literally talked about themselves the entire time whenever we met, in fact your description of your coffee meeting sounds uncannily similar to an experience I once had with said person! It took a long time and a lot of support from my amazing partner to be ready to tell her I couldn’t continue to keep in touch with her. I felt awful for days and the guilt was horrible, but it was the right thing for me to do because being around her left me feeling worse than if I hadn’t bothered. It is very difficult for many people to put themselves first but I really think that is exactly what you need to do right now.

  12. Posted August 8, 2013 at 9:56 am | Permalink

    For me reading your post, there were two things that sprung to mind. Firstly – I agree with everyone else in that your friend has “missed” what has happened to you. It could be that they are too nervous about saying the wrong thing, or it could be that the awful stigma of mental health has reared its head and ignoring it for her means it will go away. I had also thought that, if I were you, I would write a letter or an email expressing how you feel but actually on reflection I’m not sure that I would want someone like that in my life anymore, and so I would have to strongly consider whether to call that the end of the friendship. Frankly, you and your family have to come first, not her dislike of her job. I certainly wouldn’t tell a friend who had reacted like this anything deep or meaningful or serious. And therefore – they’re not really a friend.

    The last two paragraphs were what had me in tears though. I can identify with that. The fear of burdening someone, of saying the wrong thing, of frightening them away can be huge. Please, please talk to your counsellor about this. Please. A few years ago one of my family members went missing. It was horrible, even though it was short in duration, but it still affects me from time to time. I can’t imagine how hard it must have been for you and your family to deal with all of this, when the press circled and all you needed was privacy. But I also struggled with opening up to people after this happened and only my boyfriend and one friend who happens to work in mental health know about it all. And now, I suppose, you and any other AOW readers that see this comment! I also have the fear of over-burdening people about it. I worry that they’ll see me negatively or that they will break my confidences – and so I don’t really tell people things at all. But, it really is a vicious cycle – I really do believe that a problem shared is a problem halved and that keeping things in has made me very ill in the past. I hope that you have other friends, and your boyfriend, who you can talk to.

    You are not being unreasonable in feeling let down. You do not have unreasonable expectations.

    I really hope that sharing this here has helped. I am so incredibly impressed with how eloquently you have written, when things are still raw, and I am so sorry that you and your family have had to go through this.

    Sending you lots of love.

  13. Kandra
    Posted August 8, 2013 at 11:27 am | Permalink

    People have already written wise words, and mine are most like to be a rambled mess!
    But I would like to say that I am sorry for your loss and all you have been through. I have been through something similar and found peoples reactions were not always predictable. Some friends that I thought would be there for me no matter what vanished for a while, whilst others I didn’t expect it from really stepped up and pulled me through. What I did notice was that in many (not all) of the cases of those that really stepped up they had been through a loss or traumatic event themselves, and those that had not seemed to go into avoidance mode. It almost felt to me like they thought grief or death maybe catching!
    Some friends just sent messages, saying things like, ‘I dont know what to say, but if you need to talk you know where I am’ some offered to drop everything and come across country to ‘just be here if I needed them’ and some were just silent, the contrast was staggering. I heard from some months later (I think after I had contacted them for unrelated reasons) who just said ‘I know I should have been in touch before but I didn’t know what to say to you’ And although that can be hurtful, I have chosen to believe that it is just born out of ignorance and fear of somehow saying the wrong thing and maybe making it worse.
    What I realise now having been through this, is that words can’t make it better but they can help, help to make you feel less alone, help to get you through the next moment and the next, help to let you know you are loved. And (for me anyway) there was nothing anyone could say that would make me feel worse. So if I had a friend now that was experiencing a loss I would be able to be there for them armed with that knowledge and perhaps that would make me a better friend to them in that moment than I would have been before I had this knowledge, I dont know.
    I am not defending your friend, or making excuses for her, she has handled the situation badly, when just a hug and the words that she would be there for you when you need her would have probably been enough. but only you know how much your friendship is worth and whether it can make it through this. But know that whatever happens you are not unreasonable, you have every right to feel hurt and no reason at all to feel guilty. You have to do what is right and best for you. And you dont have to do anything until you are ready to.
    Sending you much love. x

  14. Anon
    Posted August 8, 2013 at 1:30 pm | Permalink

    From one anon to another: I am so sorry you are going through this; grief is an absolute bastard and grief from suicide (grief +guilt) is horrendous.

    My Dad committed suicide at the end of last year; I will never forget that call breaking the news. Because it was right before Christmas, when people have a tendency to get wrapped up in their own lives anyway, and because we had been living abroad at the time so weren’t so tapped into social networks as we would usually have been, I found support from my friends very thin on the ground. I almost wrote a BCD piece about it but I’m not as brave as you. My family situation is ‘complicated’ and I don’t get much support from them and I was deeply hurt by friends not getting in touch. I’m still debating whether to get in touch again with two people who used to be close friends who I sent Christmas cards to, explaining what had happened (not fun cards to write) and received no response of any sort. As others have said above I am convinced that the hell of the last year will make me a far better friend when others have to deal with grief.

    There is no way I could have gone back to work after 3 weeks – I was able to take some time as I was freelance at the time but there is no way I could have found enough of a brave face to put on after just 3 weeks. Have you had any more time off since?

    Not long after my Dad’s death we moved abroad again to a country where I knew no-one and I took on what turned out to be a very demanding new job. In hindsight I think I took on too much but I was desperate to get back to some form of normality. I’ve not shared my story with anyone in my new country and very few of my friends have stayed in touch to any great extent (who wants to talk about grief over Skype?) so I’m left leaning very hard indeed on my (incredible) husband.

    I don’t think it’s a lesson in leaning on no-one but yourself; that has been my main tactic so far and I’m fast finding that trying not to rely on anyone else leads to me just falling apart. Repeatedly. Which I’m not enjoying. I’m learning to ask for support, it’s just difficult when I have next to no support network here. I’m learning to explain to my husband when I just can’t cope with certain topics of conversation/songs/TV or film story lines or when I just need to talk or to sit on my own with my thoughts. I don’t think you’re being unreasonable expecting support from your friend. At all. But I completely understand your impulse to feel guilty about everything at the moment.

    I’m glad you’ve got your family around you and your boyfriend to support you. If it would help to be in touch with someone in a not dissimilar situation let AOW know or leave a comment here and I’ll send AOW my contact details to pass on.

  15. Posted August 8, 2013 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

    I can’t offer anything as wise and knowledgeable as the comments from those above who know exactly how you’re feeling; I can only imagine your heartbreak and I really hope you are getting enough support from others around you.

    You’re not being unreasonable to expect more from someone you’ve called your best friend for a decade. There’s a difference between someone wanting to help but feeling awkward as to what to do or say, and someone blatantly ignoring anything that’s going on in their friend’s life, let alone ignoring what you’re going through. I think the fact your meeting was limited to ‘time spare before meeting boyfriend’ is very telling.

    I think only you can decide whether this is a friendship you want to continue; I’m not sure you need a relationship like that right now though, so don’t feel bad about taking some time out from it while you decide.

  16. Anonymous
    Posted August 8, 2013 at 4:04 pm | Permalink

    I just wanted to 1. commend the OP on a brave story about an extraordinarily tough time in her life. You are an amazing and strong person.

    As someone who in the past has been the run away from other people’s pain, I want to lend an alternative idea. Perhaps the friendship you discussed here is truly dead, or not good for you or a million other things that make dealing with it unnecessary.

    If however it is not dead, or if in the future anyone finds themselves in a tough spot and a friend is not responding as we’d like, let me give you permission to tell them so and tell them what you need.

    It isn’t easy telling someone close to us they’re letting us down, or that we need more from them. But I think its our right as a part of the relationship. I also think there are people like me who need to be taught how to not run away from friends in pain. I didn’t know how myself until I spent a lot of time working on myself but even now, I still need reminding on occasion. If my friends cut me off because I didn’t respond correctly to things, I wouldn’t have many friends and they’d be missing out on a great person who just isn’t perfect.

    If someone truly loves and cares about you I say they should be capable of putting you first sometimes. This is just the kind of situation that calls for this sort of thing. It’s not nearly the same thing, but during a difficult time wedding planning (during which I disowned my parents and more) one of my bridesmaids was going through a divorce. I never had a problem putting her needs first because she was so obviously more in need of support and to me, that’s what we’re here for. To take care of each other and help each other out. I’m rambling now, but OP, my heart goes out to you and I hope truly you’re doing well.

  17. holly
    Posted August 8, 2013 at 6:21 pm | Permalink

    Maybe some burdens are just too heavy to share, and expecting support in situations like this is beyond the call of friendship

    What a difficult situation, and I’m very sorry for your loss. But this quote caught my eye – I hope you know it’s not true. Heavy burdens are exactly what true friends are for. They are the second family who step up when you need it, like when your actual family is struggling. It sounds to me like your friend is very immature or self-involved. . .people will eventually show themselves for who they really are, and in some cases (like this one!) I think it’s best to move on, and surround your self with people who will help you heal.

  18. Amanda M
    Posted August 8, 2013 at 6:51 pm | Permalink

    I genuinely don’t know what to say. I have been in situations where I feel awkward and don’t know what to say but this seems really poor and insensitive behaviour. What you went through – what you are still going through – is truly terrible and you deserve friends who will help you in whatever way they can. I cannot understand her behavior but I feel ashamed on her behalf – and shocked. You deserve better than this; I think you should cut your losses. I apologise if this is harsh but you need someone who will help hold you up, not add to your burden and pull you down.

  19. Heather
    Posted August 9, 2013 at 1:28 am | Permalink

    If something like this had happened to your best friend, how would you have reacted toward her? That’s how you deserve to be treated. If this friendship is putting you in the position of feeling guilty for expecting or desiring support during a horrible situation, there’s a problem with the friendship, not with you.

  20. Elsie
    Posted August 9, 2013 at 8:07 am | Permalink

    I’m so sorry that you have had such a big loss in such a hard way. Someone you love dying is a horrible & hard thing to navigate, when it is a suicide it can bring so many more questions & emotions. I’m sorry that you have to experience this.

    Normally when hearing about an argument or fall out I try to see from both sides of the story. I’ve been trying to get my head round the actions of your friend & see a reason why she would behave in such a way. I’ve re-read the your post a few times as though on the next reading the answer is suddenly going to appear. Which is silly because the answer won’t appear & maybe you will never know her reasons for her actions. Is this something you can talk about at the bereavement service? It could help rest your mind & you may also discover that many other people have had similar experiences.

    You have not been unreasonable in your expectations of your friend at all.
    I would avoid going to dinner if you feel that it could become a confrontation. Maybe like some of the others have suggested explain why in a letter/text/phone call – whichever one is easiest for you. Once she has more insight into how you feel she may understand & be the friend that it sounds like you have been to her. Otherwise I would distance myself because no true friend should find any burden too much.

    I hope with the help of the bereavement service that life without your stepfather will get easier and the guilt will lessen. For this one person who has let you down at such a horrible time there are many, many other people around you who will step up & support you in whatever way they can. I think the responses to your post today may have shown you that a little.

  21. anon
    Posted August 9, 2013 at 7:04 pm | Permalink

    I can’t begin to imagine how you are feeling and what you are going through but your post has made me concerned that I am a bit like your ‘friend’. I can sometimes be (unintentionally( insensitive and I think sometimes people have higher expectations of me than I do of them. I wouldn’t consider myself to have anyone to confide in (except my poor husband). And I’m terrible at communicating with people – I was brought up wwith too much stiff upper lip – and it may seem as though I don’t care because I haven’t been ib touch much but actually I think about my friends, how they must feel, what they must be going through, all the time, whether happy or sad. I’m just appalling at telling them that. I will make every effort to be better at this. Thank you.

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Hello! We're Clare, Aisling and Anna and welcome to a corner of the world where smart, flawed, real women talk about the bigger picture; about their experiences, stories and opinions on all aspects of being a woman today, from marriage to feminism to pretty, too.

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