When friends start avoiding you after you lose a loved one.


When friends start avoiding you after you lose a loved one.

After my brother passed away, my friends seemed like they cared for about 3 months. Now, they avoid me and hardly have anything to do with me. I wanted to start a group for this because I have heard that it happens a lot. It is so hurtful when we are already mourning a loved one, and people that we need the most, abandon us in our darkest hour. Also this is a good place to vent about what you have experienced because we can just let it all out.

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A friend who is always there!

Started by Freda Hancock. Last reply by Diamond Jun 29, 2017. 10 Replies

There are several reasons why friends fade in the background after a while.  Some don't know what to say, or do and they feel lost.  Their hope often is the fear of saying the wrong thing, so the…Continue

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Comment by Steve Cartmell on May 2, 2013 at 2:53pm

I lost my wife to cancer aged 39.At the time and after I was asked by many to give them a call if I needed someone to speak to or any help.I asked the first one if she would help by staying next to my wifes bedside for a few hours whilst I slept (I had been awake for several days).She replied that she could give me a number of a nurse that I could hire...... I also asked help with translation so that I could communicate with my wifes relatives ....everyone was to busy.Most people visited her at times convenient to their own social lives.In total I had over 70 people offering help (anytime anyday etc) but only one! came forward time and time again.

At work just weeks after my wife died a member of staff asked me if I had a nice Christmas,when I replied no she asked me why,I told her that my wife had just died to which she replied "but that was weeks ago".

No one has visited apart from my family (who thought the world of my wife),no one calls apart from the one angel mentioned above.

When my wife was dying towards the end I was bombarded with calls about visiting rights and someone even suggested that I make out a rota.My wife got very little sleep due to indifferent treatment and very very slow reaction to pain.I had to stop people waking her up when she did manage to get any sleep,One person even told me that she had travelled a long way to see her so could I wake her up even after I had explained.

On another occasion I found one person standing over my wife as she slept (or trying too) having a shouted telephone call to someone who was going to the same party that night.

In the end I have help from a small circle of friends who truly loved my wife.when they have to go through the same thing I will be there for them and I will know what to do and what to say,as for the others ..... well they are just fair weather friends maybe they will remember when it is their turn

Comment by Dee Litz on October 8, 2012 at 10:04am

Hi, Jan, I'm very sorry for your losses. I know it hurts very deeply.

Sometimes we can look at other people's situations and arrive at a consolation or understanding that can help ourselves...then we pass it on.  Maybe this will help:

From what I read about your situation regarding your husband's "friends," your best friend, etc., and many other people's situations that are similar, I have come to these conclusions:

Being in grief is a very vulnerable time. It is emotionally draining.  So we do NOT NEED to inflict more pain, or waste any more energy, or put more emotional drain on ourselves by driving ourselves crazy thnking about those "friends" who are not there for us. 

I have come to the conclusion that "I am here, etc." is nothng more than just a customary thing to say without having true intent, like a platitude.  It is as if people think they are supposed to say it or it is expected of them to say it just because it is the normal or "routine" thing to say at a wake or funeral.

I have come to the conclusion that is by far more important and more beneficial for us to appreciate the people who are TRULY in our lives, who are truly sticking by us...than to be concerned or frazzled about those who are not. 

We can't make people do anything that they don't want to do.  So we should not put any more burden on ourselves by thinking that we HAVE to make the first moves.


Personally, because of several circumstances, I have extremely VERY little support. I would love to have at least a best friend and/or family member.



Comment by Janice F. on October 7, 2012 at 11:57am

My husband, , my best friend, Don, passed away on June 26, 2012, a little over 3 months ago. We had many friends, he was in business here for 30 years.  When they heard he had gone, several of them came over with the "I am here for you, any time"...there were 125 people at his Memorial in May.  Since then NOT ONE of those "friends" has even called.  It really hurts so bad.  Don was a wonderful, kind, caring man, everyone loved him, so they said.  I do have my best friend of 47 years, she has been here for me the whole time, and I have been here for her, she lost her husband 7 months before Don.  Thank God for her. And for our large family, we each have 3 sons, their wives and 11 grandkids...we raised those 6 boys together from the time they were little, all in their 40's now.  Some of the ones on "his side" have continued to be here but some of them have been distant.  I just don't get it?  Are people waiting for me to call them?  I can't, I'm walking through such a fog of grief & pain...

I also lost my beloved mom in July, 2011.  Still grieving her also. Thankful for my family support, but I can't help but wonder about the "friends".  Sorry this is so long...and thanks for starting this group.

Comment by Patricia Sedgwick on September 11, 2012 at 8:33pm

My husband passed away 3 months ago this week and you are right all those people who called and said "if you need anything just call" are gone. It's not that I need anything but what I need right now is people. I am grieving for the lost of my husband and now I am grieving for the lost of those who i thought were friends. 

Comment by marsha rose on September 9, 2012 at 11:18pm

No problem Dee Litz!!!

Comment by Dee Litz on September 9, 2012 at 11:07pm

Thank you SO much, Marsha!  I never thought of looking at it that way.

I am quite clueless about technology, and this is the first time that I tried to reply below. I don't know if I did it right, so I decided to write in this comment box, so no one thinks that I am ignoring them.

Many blessing to all!

Comment by Dee Litz on September 9, 2012 at 9:24pm

Since I am enduring insensitivities overwhelmingly, I greatly empathize with everyone who is being avoided by family and "friends," by people's insensitivities, and cruelties.

This is the latest insensitivity I have to deal with.  Before my husband passed away recently and unexpectedly, he was sick and could not do his normal chores that were mounting. So we hired a handyman, who needed money desperately, and I kindly agreed to go along with his schedule. 

My husband could be relieved that all would be taken care of very well.

I left messages for the handyman to let him know what was going on each step of the way, told him that I did not want to lose him, and to please extend the courtesy of letting me know if he was not interested in doing any work for me anymore. 

Well, the other day I left a message to let him that he could resume doing work for me, and AGAIN, to let me know if he was not interested anymore. I waited and waited for his call, but he NEVER called to let me know one way or the other!  Apparently a courteous 20 second phone call was too burdensome for him!

So here I am grieving, and having to carry out the post-funeral paper work, etc., dealing with a lot of other avoidances and insensitivities, and now I have another burden of looking for a handyman. 

There doesn't seem to be an end to insensitivities!

Comment by Andrea Lara on June 12, 2012 at 5:16pm
Catherine I know the feeling my neice passed away and I've had all of my friends avoid me it's the worse feeling it also makes you realize alot I'm sry you going thru the same thing just kno That your mom is with you every single day and she will bring new people into your life whom you can truly call your friends
Comment by Catherine Mitchell on June 12, 2012 at 11:17am

My mom died on May 13 2012, and all but one or two friends have started to avoid me.  I feel so alone.  My mom was a single parent and she was all the family that I had in this world.  I'am so angry that people who call themselves "friends" could be so insensitive. 

Comment by marsha rose on May 10, 2012 at 5:11pm

my sister died from lupus in February and then my father died in march. I thought I had really good friends and most of them have been useless. People who I wouldn't expect have been more supportive. But through all the pain I have become a different person, I have clarity and those old friends will not be able to fit into my world now.


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