I Miss My Friend

by D. K.

My friend/neighbor reached out to me and I feel I let him down. And now he is gone. And I feel so guilty. Mike was my neighbor for close to 3 years. We spoke only a few times and exchanged hellos when we saw each other coming and going, but that was the extent of it. Then a few months ago he came to my door with a cactus plant saying since I knew his sister from years and years ago and she had since passed on he wanted me to have it. He came into my apt. to tell me about the plant. He then invited me for lunch saying he was lonely. I turned him down. I don't know why but I just felt leery of him-like he was hitting on me. Now I have not been with anyone for a long time since my fiance passed away years ago and I guess I am a little shy around men. Anyway, Mike started knocking on my door but I would never answer. I did see him outside a few times and he would always say hello. Then on Feb. 2 on a Sunday afternoon he again knocked on my door only this time the knocking seemed louder and he knocked 4 times instead of the usual 2 times. Again, I did not answer. The next morning he was found hanging in his apt. We lived in the same apt. bldg. I am not handling this well at all. I feel so bad that I did not open my door that afternoon. I keep ruminating over and over "What if?" And to make matters worse-I myself have depression and I of all people should have known what he was feeling when he told me he was lonely. I could have offered him some help. How could I have been so selfish? I almost hate myself. I am almost hating myself. I can hardly eat. Each day I have crying spells. I just can't accept this. I last saw him 5 days before this happened out by our mailboxes-now everytime I go to check my mail it's all I can do to not break down. I dread going out there.

Comments for I Miss My Friend

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Mar 24, 2014
missing your friend
by: Anonymous---MI

I have always known this and have passed this thought on to my children who are now adults and that is--- God gave us an inner voice and insight into what could be possible danger for us. When we have this feeling we must pay close attention to it and respect what our feelings are telling us. You could not know or be responsible for this man's loneliness. We are to help and love our neighbors but also be very wise in what kind of help we give them. I believe you did the right thing; this man was emotionally impaired and needed more help than a 'friend or neighbor' could offer him. Be at peace with yourself.

Mar 23, 2014
I Miss My Friend
by: Doreen UK

DK I know how you feel. I one time was shopping and leaned down to eye level to a woman in a wheelchair to listen to what she was talking to me about since she was trying to get my attention. My tenderness towards her made her feel valued, and she asked me to come and look after her as she needed a carer. I had 2 children at the time and a husband and I was thrown into mental chaos about what to do. I had my own commitments. I did nothing and found out later this woman died. I feel as bad as you do. But I had to focus on what my needs were. I was shy and could not articulate well what I needed to say. I have since been in counselling to resolve all my losses and I am in a healthier place and can express my needs better. I know I would know how to handle this situation better now.
You were not to know that your neighbour would hang himself. He may have become emotionally dependent on you and caused you emotional turmoil. We have BOUNDARIES and this is for our protection and good emotional health. You felt at the time that he was hitting on you and it made you feel uncomfortable so you did nothing. I have also been in this situation and DONE NOTHING. We make split decisions all the time and often don't have time to process carefully what is going on. This cannot be held against us. You have to let go of feeling guilty for doing nothing to befriend this man, especially since you felt uncomfortable about this situation.
I have a woman living close by and she met me and talked and said she had the worst week ever. It was Easter and she never saw anyone and was so isolated and lonely. I was focusing on caring for my husband and children and would have loved to embrace all the lonely and sad people. BUT. I did this one time and my husband who was my boyfriend at the time was possessive and was hurt by my caring for other people which made him feel neglected. Often there are obstacles to doing the right thing. We learn lessons. But we need to free ourselves of guilt and when we know to do better we will do it. I ask God now for WISDOM. To know when to care for others and taking risks that won't harm me.
I also did Prison Ministry and many male prisoners became dependent on me and caused emotional turmoil. I had to know when to pull away. Again establishing Healthy BOUNDARIES.

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