Friendship Disappearing Act (FDA)

I lost my son to suicide 8 years ago. Perhaps some readers have not been on their grief journey this long ~ may be not long enough to experience the slow drip that leads to friends disappearing - the FDA. I write this because it comes back to my mind often. We lost our son. We didn't expect to lose our friends, but we have. I wouldn't dare write this in my blog for fear they would find it. Maybe it wouldn't be a bad thing if they did. Maybe I should be less fearful? I write this because I don't often see it mentioned, but surely others have lost friends in the grief process? These were long-time friends. We reared our children together being involved with church and school activities since our kids were close in age. It was a good time then. So naturally I expected them to stick by us even when the going got rough. After all they loved our son too. What did we do wrong? How could it be our fault? Why heap more pain on our hurting hearts? I don't want to leave this note "in the dumps" so to end on a positive note ~ more friends, friends from here and other cyber places have come along to fill the vacancy. No, we have not met, but we walk a similar path of grief. Nothing is off the table. We can say what we feel and no one runs away. So my friend, if you too have lost friends, I'd love to hear your story. If you can make sense out of their leaving, perhaps I will learn from your experience. No matter what you say, I will not run away. Blessings

Comments for Friendship Disappearing Act (FDA)

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Sep 08, 2014
FDA
by: Linda

I lost my son four years ago. He died in front of me. I expected support from my friend of thirty years but it wasn't to be. I agonised about it for months but have long since stopped analysing her behaviour and accepted that she could not cope with death. The solution is to treasure the friends that are still there and when the time feels right, make new ones. This is what I intend to do. We cannot waste the time we have left worrying about so called friends when we are trying to cope with such devastation in our lives.

Jul 12, 2014
FDA
by: Anonymous

It is obviously very difficult to see people not being as supportive as you hope or even turning away from you. I remember a girl who had tried to commit suicide said friends at school ignored her when they found out because they were afraid they'd "catch" it. I don't know how well you knew these people? Sharing school activities, etc... Because you have children the same age sounds more like acquaintances then friendship. Sometimes friendship is tested. These people were helpful to you at the time, and you felt a common bond.
Did you honestly like or love some of these people or get to know them on a deeper level?
On the other hand, some people just don't know what to do or say? If you can try communicating with one of them, say you feel ostracized because of your son's suicide, and if the person seems receptive, say what would be helpful to you now. I think it's good to be heard, and, some may feel uncomfortable and avoiding the situation. They have not been through this, but you have.
Friendship can be situational. You can make new friends, but it's worth a shot to take the opportunity to build a friendship based on an understanding at a deeper level.

May 22, 2014
Death by shotgun
by: Doreen UK

Dear Anonymous,
I am sorry for your loss of your precious son, dying too soon.
Who knows why Adult Children take their own lives? He must have been in so much pain and couldn't share this with anyone. Many males have a personality that is so private they can't share their innermost feelings with anyone. They are then locked into a frame of mind in which they can't see beyond their own pain. They don't have the perspective to think of Who will miss me? or what it will be like for those left behind? Their pain consumes them and they can'tsee beyond this. It then becomes too late. It is the mother's, father's, siblings, and partners that have to pick up the pieces of a broken shattered life. Never understanding why? racked with guilt thinking if only I had known? Even if a parent knows of their children's pain they often cannot save them as hard as they try. You could benefit from seeing a grief counsellor who is trained in this area of support.
My sister's son (my nephew) threw himself in front of an express train 9yrs. ago at the age of 30yrs. and changed our lives forever. My sister could not even get up. She was in a state of collapse and needed a grief counsellor to go to her home and help her. SHE DID. My sister made a recovery to the point that she could engage in life again. BUT. As a mother I know she will never be the same again. NO MOTHER WILL. You carry that child inside you for 9 months and then rear that child with all the love you can. Along the way life happens and circumstances change and many young people can become disillusioned with life and feel there is nothing to live for. I have felt that way myself. I feel it now after the loss of my husband to cancer 2yrs. ago. A life torn in two. Unable to be put back together again. God is the only person who can put us together again and breathe new life into us so that we can continue in life. God is the only one who can hold our pain so we don't feel the fullness of that UNBEARABLE PAIN OF GRIEF.
My nephew did call out for help. No one came. The mental Health services failed him and so in his unbearable pain he ended his life and misery. My sister tried to save her son but her husband would have left and so she made the decision to not let her adult son come home. A decision she will regret for the rest of her life. Often a mother/wife has to make a tough decision never knowing the outcome. You and all mother's will have to find a way to RELEASE themselves from a decision that was hard and they had to make anyway. The ultimate decision rests with the one who could not live in their world anymore and so ended their misery and pain/life. May God comfort you in your sorrow and loss.

May 21, 2014
death by shotgun
by: Anonymous

I foung my son behind my barn and he had shot himself with a shotgun.I found him laying there! My life will never ever be the way it was. The worst thing is guilt that stays with you. Only if you only knew what was to be. I go to the cementary and talk to him,.Right now I am existing not living. One day at a time.

Apr 30, 2014
Love your words, Doreen!
by: Anonymous

I love your words, Doreen. Always so encouraging. :)

Apr 30, 2014
still feeling sad and unhappy
by: Doreen UK

Susan I do understand your comments of how you still feel 2yrs. on from losing your estranged daughter.
Perhaps if you see a psychologist/counsellor you may get the correct support you need. I was in pain for 40yrs. and reached the point I couldn't go on anymore in life. God sent me the perfect person for me. I didn't even know he is existed in another branch of our Church. I travelled miles and got the best therapy and ended 40yrs. of suffering in 4yrs. I have never gone back to feeling the same way again. I have been Healed to a point. Total Healing will come from God when we meet Him. But it is possible for you to not feel the way you do. Ask God to help you by sending you the right person to help you. You don't need to go through this RAW GRIEF. But you do need to resolve your pain of losing your estranged daughter and to release yourself from any guilt and pain surrounding you from her death. There always seems to be a father somewhere in the background who never has to carry the pain a mother does. Best wishes.

Apr 30, 2014
The cruel things people say. Let them go over your head.
by: Doreen UK

Dear Anon,
I was shocked to read your post about your friend telling you that your son won't go to heaven because of self murder. My nephew committed suicide and couldn't live in his world of pain anymore. And he believed in God.
People can be more than Cruel to utter such statements. There are many people who are professed Christians but have not been touched in their hearts by The Spirit of God, but instead been exposed to "LEGALISM" Where their beliefs are judgemental and very HARSH. I was exposed to this type of instruction. I Pleaded with God to deliver me from such people and their instruction that caused me such pain for most of my life. Don't give up! God is in control. At such times hand these people over to God and ask God to deliver such people and Whole churches from LEGALISM. This is a tool of the enemy to keep us in such bondage so we never learn the truth which is God is Love and HE ALONE IS OUR JUDGE. May God comfort you and keep you in peace from such Legalists. As Joyce Meyer says. "Don't be in the company of people who bring us down." Stay in company with those who encourage us and lift us up when we are down. If we stay in the company of negative people they will drag us down and we will become like them. Have pity on them and leave them in the hands of God. I am sorry for your loss of your beloved son. May God go with you each day and Bless You.

Apr 30, 2014
My beautiful son died. And My friends "Vanished".
by: Doreen UK

Anonymous I am so sorry for your loss of your son who is the same age as my youngest daughter. My heart aches for you. After losing my husband to cancer almost 2yrs. ago, I have this dread I am going to lose my youngest daughter still at home with me. It is the worst fear in the world.
You may find benefit seeing a grief counsellor, especially in cases of losing a child/adult child. The so called "Friends" you speak of who vanishes are not REAL FRIENDS. They are "FAIR WEATHER FRIENDS". Just there when things are good, and when things change they are gone or not supportive. THIS HURTS. Many of us find out after losing a loved one that we are ABANDONED by family and friends. Many walk out of our lives, and never return, just when we need them the most. Many of us feel this way. I don't know why it happens. This is now happening on TV programmes and I pick up on it immediately and wonder "why do people walk away from us?" at the most difficult time of our lives. Know this that GOD is our ONLY "FOREVER FRIEND." He is constant, always available, and OUR HEAVENLY FATHER. I often wish God was here in Person. As Jesus was here on the earth. A physical presence is what we need most. Often God will send people our way when we are at the lowest point in our lives. Reach out to God. He is always there and He will Keep us Secure when we need this. May God comfort you and give you His Peace now as you grieve the loss of your beloved Son.

Apr 29, 2014
My beautiful son died and my friends vanished
by: Anonymous

My son Ian died on April 4,2014 at the age of 33. The last two weeks of his life were spent in ICU on a ventilator. He fought so hard and suffered so much and I don't even have the words to express the horrifying fear I lived day and night watching him, the monitors, meetings with a neurologist and the alarms constantly going off.
But I do know one thing for sure; Ian suffered much more than I did and in the end lost his life.
The "bad friends" scenario started right away. They were mad that I wasn't texting them updates. Text? What was I supposed to say? I had no words, still don't. How can you explain to people that it's all you can do just to keep breathing?
And why should I have to?
I think now that finding real friends is about as likely as finding a real Dr.it's just not going to happen.

Mar 17, 2014
To Susan
by: Anonymous

I heard that same remark, Susan, "being older" from a mother who had lost a baby. I was looking at my son's casket at the time. Poor timing. Poor words from someone who may have had a clue? You see, we don't get it until we should walk in someone's shoes which is unlikely so as Doreen says, ignore most comments. People grapple with what to say and perhaps speak before filtering the thought through their brain. I just recently had a friend tell me that my son would unlikely be in heaven because of self murder. It's been almost 9 yrs and it nearly knocked me to the floor. I was sick to my stomach for days. And this is not truth! How could she know? Only God knows who will be happy in heaven. The judging is His job, no one else's and certainly not us humans with our "pea-sized brains". My dear(s)life is cruel. Most will lose someone dear in their lifetime and probably more than one. There are so many causes, too many to count. We are survivors, you and I. We put one foot forward at a time and try to remind ourselves that God is in this with us. He promised he'd never leave and humans cannot promise that. Be hopeful and encouraged by God's great love for you.

Mar 17, 2014
Still in a hard place with my Grief
by: Doreen UK

Susan I am so sorry for your loss of your estranged daughter to a sudden death. You say you are all alone and this is hard on you not having support. She is still your daughter no matter how old she was, and the hurt of loss will be the same no matter the age. Your friends are being very insensitive to tell you that "At least she was older" and "Perhaps God is trying to teach you something." God teaches us many lessons through out our lives in our trials and tribulations, but God I am sure would never hurt you by taking your daughter. Your daughter made a CHOICE based on the pain inside her that she couldn't resolve and perhaps wanted to end her pain and thus it meant ending her life. Your friends should have had more compassion and been more supportive. It is better to say nothing than to say the wrong thing.
Regarding therapy. shop around till you get the right therapist for you. Therapy is painful but in time the HEALING is so amazing it is worth going through the pain for how you will feel in the end if you get the right type of therapy. Many people leave therapy/counselling too early when HEALING would have suddenly happened. I just woke up one day after such pain and felt as if a MIRACLE had happened within me. It was too amazing to put into words. I never felt so good in my life despite losing my husband 22 months ago to the worst cancer ever. I nursed him for 3yrs.39days before he died. I still have bad days of grief. Today I discovered a notebook with his writing in it and of course this set off my grief again. I MISS HIM SO MUCH it feels so CRUEL to go through this loss. Susan this is such a heavy burden for you to carry all alone. You must try your best to build yourself up each day by doing good things for yourself and ignoring the insensitive remarks of those people who mean well but not able to feel what they are saying to you because they are not in your shoes and can't even imagine how you feel. Often when no one is around we have to find ways to encourage ourselves. Lean harder on God and let Him hold your pain and Comfort you in your deep sorrow and grief till you find Peace.

Mar 16, 2014
understand
by: Susan

I lost my 34 year old daughter two years ago on November 13, 2011. She had been estranged from me for several years, so that grief is alongside losing her through suicide. I am all alone in this loss. I keep working but have not gotten any better. It seemes to have been more raw this past year. My friends have said things such as, God is trying to teach you something, or another said, at least she was older. Her father encouraged the rift so I can't even turn to the other parent (Oh, for so many, many reasons)
I read, pray, have gone through therapy, but nothing seems to help this feeling of deep sadness, anxiety, and doom.
I am looking now for a different therapist (my other one was great but retired)and I want to find a group who meets regularly and with whom I can talk to about this sadness. I understand what you are talking about in losing friends. Maybe a group who has experienced this unbelievable sadness would be a good place to bond and get understanding and support.

Feb 25, 2014
Many of you understand FDA
by: Doreen UK

Anonymous YES! I do understand your contribution on suffering. We live in a fallen world due to SIN. We have the assurance of eternal life in Jesus Christ as our Saviour. His sacrifice on the cross is what saves us when we accept His sacrifice for our sins. That doesn't mean we will live a trouble free life. In fact it is the opposite. WE will have more tribulation but we go through this with Jesus Christ. We are not on our own. We will often feel we are in the crucible of suffering but this is because as you say We are like Gold tried in the furnace. All the impurities in our life has to be burned off and the only way is through suffering. And then we will come through as PURE GOLD. This is the work of a lifetime. It doesn't happen all at one time. Death comes by sin in the world and one day this will end and there will be no more death, no more suffering, no more sorrow, no more pain because all these will pass away. If you get the chance listen to David Jeremiah online you can listen to his sermons on "HEAVEN" This is our destination. Keep FOCUSED on Heaven when grief gets more than we can bear. It will make us feel less alone in our suffering. Knowing Jesus is grieving with us. Best wishes.

Feb 25, 2014
To Absent Friends
by: Anonymous

Dear Friend,
I am so sorry for your loss. It is so soon, so fresh. You have found a place of refuge here where some have traveled many more miles than you have. Never fear. Some will drop back and walk with you.

Please allow time for your friendship. The "spark" your friend is looking for may be her way of saying she hurts with you and misses the good times. It takes time; lots and lots of time, but if she is patient, and I hope she is, she will stick around through your changes.

Time does not heal this wound, but it gives us the opportunity to grow used to having it open just a sliver.It has been years for me now. I am sensitive about my missing son so that if I happen to hear his name, I am all ears. If someone makes a crack about death, if I can, I will stand up for those who cannot speak for themselves. But these things take time. It is over time that good memories come and you can smile again. Meanwhile God has his arm around your shoulders in comfort. He will stick with you even when others won't, but hopefully she will. Blessings

Feb 25, 2014
FDA
by: Anonymous

I might as well come clean. Within the family circle, some got upset "the way things ran" I guess and when it was time for the graveside service, they refused to attend. That was a low blow. No explanation has ever come out of their mouths about that day. I was told I was not welcome in their home and I have never been back. Enraged? yes. But after reading a book about forgiveness, I realized I was "drinking poison while waiting for them to die" and it hit me: I don't want to drag these people around with me for the rest of my life so I chose to forgive them (working it out with God) and gradually the load lifted and I am free of them. Doesn't mean I don't have questions, but I don't need their answers. I see them in a different way now. I can accept them. When there is a death I will go support my husband, but any other visits? I don't know. I have never been invited. But with my sister who said, "I want my old sister back" I told her she would never be coming back, but that God was rebuilding her sister brick by brick into something better. I truly believe that. I still carry my precious son in my heart, but my heart and mind are being built anew. It helps me cope with the loss of my child and also those who cannot deal with grief and leave. But I only need one friend, and God has supplied her. Plus there are so many on here who have a total understanding of what we are going through. We travel together, supporting each other. I hope this reveal helps someone.

Feb 25, 2014
Absent Friends
by: Doreen UK

Dear Anonymous,
I was surprised and shocked to read your post that your long time friend sent you a text message to say that "You don't have your normal spark." This is so insensitive. You have lost a child/adult child and she doesn't have a clue. Did it take a death for you to find out such insensitivity.
Best thing to do is to communicate how you feel and tell her that you may never return to the same person she has known all these years because you have lost a child. Not something one can recover from in her time frame. You will then discover if she will accept you for yourself and the new You. If not then was she really a true friend? Perhaps I am wrong here. BUT. I am the type of person who accepts people the way they are. So I do expect the same respect. I always make myself available for them and I think this is how it should be. But times are changing and so are people. You are not being true to yourself if you can't be yourself and your emotions are up and down. You have no control over this. Triggers are going off all the time. It won't be till your friend loses someone that she will at least have some empathy towards the grief experience. I THINK? I have had to walk away from siblings and friends who won't accept me for who I am. Especially if heavy demands are made on me that I can't meet their expectations. This is a burden too far. I wish you comfort in your grief and know that you have friends here who understand. I am sorry for your loss.

Feb 25, 2014
Many of you understand FDA
by: Anonymous

Sigh. It is difficult to explain when you have no energy to do so. There is Time for that later if at all. Some glaze over since understanding may bring on trouble as if being next to them makes death contagious. Yes, collectively there will be many questions to ask God. Will it be a long line? There is something I have learned about suffering. Think about the process gold must go thru to be pure . It is heated to high temps to burn off impurities. Suffering has it's own burning so to speak. We who suffer are changed forever. We notice that we grow a backbone. We know what real tragedy is so much of life is stuff and doesn't make.a bleep on the radar screen. Does this make sense to anyone?

Feb 24, 2014
Friendship Disappearing Act (FDA)
by: Doreen UK

First let me Thank You for your Transparency. I post 97% of the time and I have posted about this subject often as it always comes up and is a REAL PROBLEM for most people. Just when you need people the most they go off to live their own lives thinking that perhaps WE who have lost a loved one will get over it so WHY BOTHER. These feelings are expressed a lot by many people on this site. Don't apologise for bringing this subject up thinking it may upset anyone and feel it is being negative. IT IS NOT. It is a very real problem and painful moment for us losing a loved one and then to lose long time family members/long time friends. BUT IT DOES HAPPEN. I DON'T KNOW WHY?. First question I want to ask God when I get to Heaven is WHY??. Next question I want to ask God is WHY IS GRIEF SO VERY PAINFUL? "Why does it hurt so much?" Perhaps anyone going through this same experience may not be able to offer any suggestions to MAKE IT BETTER/DIFFERENT? ONE DAY WE WON'T BE HERE. WE DO NEED EACH OTHER! "NOW!" I have never been one to focus on myself or my feelings. But since my husband died 21 months ago I thought someone would have cared about Me. I discovered that when one is a GIVER of time etc. They are taken for granted and can get locked into a cycle as if they have somehow set themselves up for a fall. I guess I have to go out and make my own happiness as I am being told often with suggestions. I never speak of my hurt or my feelings on this subject. This is the first time I am writing here about it. I live across the pond otherwise I would make the effort to meet up with many on this site. WE UNDERSTAND EACH OTHER. Then I got to thinking (self examination) I wonder if I have ever been this type of person. Lost a loved one and just carried on with my busy life bringing up 3 children and too busy to keep in touch. I daresay I have not done this out of choice or carelessness. But out of the busyness of Life. I now know how it feels and I guess all these other people will one day realise this also. I am still glad you brought the subject up. There is no self pity in how we feel. IT DOES HURT. I broke the ice and told my sister, the phone hasn't rung for a week and I haven't seen anyone. I can't get out due to arthritis and I feel like I am in a prison. IT HURTS. She says she will come and see me soon. But she has her husband at home all the time so she won't understand fully how I feel. So I guess this is just the way it is. I wish it wasn't. I hope we hear from other people and how they feel and how they have changed their life and perspective that may help us. Maybe there are no answers. Maybe this is just the nature of grief. I WONDER? Any other thoughts out there? Thanks for listening.

Feb 24, 2014
So True
by: Mdee

I understand so very well what you are saying . Mood swings , I get them so much . I am in a heavy state of depression right now. I am trying my best to just keep busy , and I do thank God for everything I have in my life. My youngest son doesn't live far from me , but when I do go there , I tend to hide my feelings. My son is usually a good spotter of my inner turmoils and my moods and he will speak to me about this. I have all interest in things I used to love to do . I loved to cook , now I don't bother with that . Being in the garden and planting away , I don't bother with that either.
Every time I try and make a dish or cook something , I remember my son used to love it and I lose interest immediately . All I can do is for God to hold my hand , and help me get through this . The part of me that used to be bubbly , spontaneous , died the night when my son died. That person is gone forever. I know that . Now I keep to myself and hardly go anywhere. I hope that God will get me through this day .
For you my friend .. God Bless and let Jesus take the wheel.

Feb 23, 2014
Absent friends
by: Anonymous

My son died seven weeks ago. I have been surprised with who is remaining close and who is not. I have one very good friend who was close in the immediate days following Jason's death, but since the funeral I have only seen her a couple of times. II don't think she can handle that I have changed, at least for now. She texted me that I didn't seem to have my "normal spark". I don't want to lose her as a friend but I just don't have the. Energy to help her understand what I am going through. It makes me sad to think of losing her friendship, we have been so close for many years.l

Feb 23, 2014
I agree
by: Anonymous

I agree wholeheartedly with you that Jesus will never forsake us. Though in our pain we may cry out against Him, I believe He can take it. His shoulders are broad, His grip strong, His breath sweet, His words calming. I also agree with you that friends give us a certain amount of time to "get over it" and if we don't comply, they move on without us. It isn't right. If they lost a child, they would not want us to leave them. It seems this death must be experienced to be completely understood. I get that.

Feb 23, 2014
Not alone
by: Mdee

Oh my dear friend, You are not alone. I lost my son in July 2011 in a terrible car accident and within the first week I was never alone. Someone always was there . After the funeral , people ( friends )
just got so scarce . I soon realized that it was maybe me , in my grief , and I even blamed myself for being such a depressing person. NOW , today , I think back I was so wrong to blame myself. I have a right to my grief and no one can say when it comes. I live alone , I see only my youngest son and his fiance , other than that I see very little of so called friends. Now I pity them. I had a very good friend of mine , but she moved away very far , but she is the only one who contacts me and and when she is in the area she makes a turn. Woman who have not lost a child , be it a small baby or a grown up , have no clue how very hard and lonely it is . Its a sad club we belong to but at least here we can voice our own concerns and opinions . God Bless and remember you are not alone.

Feb 23, 2014
lost friends too
by: Anonymous

I have lost so many friends also because of all the different emotions you go through when you have lost someone. Not everyone can take your mood swings or your pain that never seems to end. The friends are ready for you to move on at some point but if you do not they are ready to let you go. It's really sad but it is very common I'm sure. I'm just thankful to Jesus because he will never leave me or forsake me no matter how much grief I might be in. May God bless you with new friends in your new stage of life and grief process. thank you for sharing :)

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