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Feeling bad about a Xmas day family zoom

(41 Posts)
BerthaT Sun 27-Dec-20 17:56:50

As lots of other families on 25th we had a Xmas Day 'family zoom' with our three daughters and their partners/husbands. We had lots of laughs, chat, waved to our grandchildren etc .........then a couple minutes before the zoom meeting ended it struck me how happy and jovial we all were and so I blurted out that I had just lost a friend of 17 years on Xmas Eve to Covid.....I burst into tears (not unusual for me) and asked them to spare a thought for the terrible Xmas my friend Joanne's family will be experiencing.....well the meeting ended quickly after I spoilt everyone's day and now I'm feeling terrible and selfish that I mentioned it at all.........we are very close to two of our daughters but one not so much, and my relationship with her in recent years has been strained.......
I messaged her later in the day on an inconsequential matter to receive a terse reply. I am generally a very anxious person and doubly so now as I expect she is feeling 'ugh it's all about her, she needn't have mentioned it today.' Probably everyone else is thinking the same? My mother said I shouldn't have mentioned it

Smileless2012 Mon 28-Dec-20 12:02:18

Oh for goodness sake "it's as if you decided that everyone was just having too much of a good time so you poured cold water over everyone with your bad news". There is nothing whatsoever in anything that Bertha's posted to suggest this.

Alexa Mon 28-Dec-20 12:14:06

Bertha, I am sorry for your loss it is true and how stilted is seems to write that conventional condolence. Your tears speak for you.

The conversation that went wrong was due to real life breaking into a conventional ritual. Much of Xmas is ritualised and many people are fond of the ritual to the extent of being unprepared for real life to break through it.

I think this is what happened, and even if they don't explain like I have done, I bet they understand this is what happened and they will feel for you.

gulligranny Mon 28-Dec-20 12:17:02

Good heavens, is this poor woman not allowed to have any feelings? Why shouldn't she expect some sympathy, she's just lost a dear friend! Her family are grown up not children who have to be "protected", they should certainly be looking at their own behaviour.

Bertha, you have nothing to feel guilty about. We all need to know we can voice our emotions and if not to our families then who else .... you are clearly someone who feels things deeply, and the loss of a friend is hard to bear (as I well know, and greatly sympathise).

BerthaT Mon 28-Dec-20 12:28:22

No I had not decided everyone was having too much of a good time and so I decided to pour cold water on it.......I didn't 'think' at all, I just suddenly felt so very sad for my friend and her family, here we were all happy, safe and well.....for Joanne's family the most hellish Xmas.

I have apologised to my daughters, two of whom were extremely lovely and said they hadn't thought anything of the sort.

Daughter no 3 stonewalled me, no doubt what I deserve.

merlotgran Mon 28-Dec-20 12:34:37

Daughter no 3 stonewalled me, no doubt what I deserve.

Let her stew then. Don't think of yourself as a victim. If your other daughters understood then she'll just have to suck it up.

Was your friend known to your daughters?

Callistemon Mon 28-Dec-20 12:35:17

No, you didn't deserve it.

BerthaT Mon 28-Dec-20 12:54:20


^Daughter no 3 stonewalled me, no doubt what I deserve.^

Let her stew then. Don't think of yourself as a victim. If your other daughters understood then she'll just have to suck it up.

Was your friend known to your daughters?

No, my daughters did not personally know my friend Joanne, though they knew we sang together in a choir etc.

merlotgran Mon 28-Dec-20 13:01:30

It might have been a good idea to message your daughters before the family Zoom to let them know about your friend. This would have given them the opportunity to message back with condolences etc.

Smileless2012 Mon 28-Dec-20 13:17:18

You don't deserve to be stone walled by your D Bertha, TBH she needs to take a look at her own behaviour and as merlotgran has posted 'suck it up'.

Luckygirl Mon 28-Dec-20 13:40:45

We feel what we feel - hard to turn grief off at the drop of a hat.

I wept buckets at my OH's grave on Christmas Eve when the 2 local DDs and their children were there - two of the GC had made a tiny felt and sheep's wool gnome and put it on the grave for Grandpa for Christmas - it completely undid me. My DD gave me an entirely illegal and unwise hug.

I later apologised to DDs for "spoiling the GCs' Christmas Eve" and neither saw it as a problem. One said "It is real life - we cannot shelter them totally from that, and they are sad about Papa too." And another said "It is a chance for them to hone up their caring skills" - and it was - they sent me virtual hugs.

I do not think you did anything wrong; but I am sorry your family reacted badly. I am sorry for the loss of your friend.

Alexa Mon 28-Dec-20 18:38:04

Bertha, you do not deserve to be stonewalled. You have feelings like everyone else, and I hope very much the replies here have helped with your grief.

sodapop Mon 28-Dec-20 19:11:44

Exactly what I thought Smileless they are adult children surely they can empathise a little.

Babyshark Mon 28-Dec-20 19:35:19

I didn’t mean to be unkind BerthaT you’ve lost a friend and it’s not unreasonable to expect support from family.

Perhaps I was projecting a bit when I read your post. I had a family member and they were frequently tearful or reminded of something sad at get togethers, it felt attention seeking although I’m not sure if it was. The outcome for the rest of us was that they were a bit of a mood hoover and because of the frequency of their upset or distress they elicited less and less sympathy.

That’s my experience though and probably nothing like yours. But just wanted to share what influenced my previous posts.

Sparkling Tue 29-Dec-20 14:57:39

Let D get on with it, after years of treading on eggshells, I just don’t anymore. You lost a dear friend how heartbreaking for her family and friends and it’s natural the loss would sweep over you, it’s being human. You’ve apologised, there isn’t one of us that doesn’t put our foot in it sometimes. If it were my mom upset, I would have rung her afterwards to offer her support.

Lolo81 Tue 29-Dec-20 18:55:41

It’s a very odd time for us all just now isn’t it? You can’t help how you feel at all and no good can come from feeling guilty, what’s done is done. The timing wasn’t great, but we can’t always control how and when these things will affect us.
You jumped quite quickly to your family thinking you were “making it all about you”, if you don’t mind me asking, is this something that’s been said to you before?
If so maybe try practicing some breathing exercises? Like you I get quite teary when feeling any emotion (anger, fear, frustration - the lot) and although I can’t control my feelings what I can (now) control is how I react and display them. Breathing exercises helped me with that.
My reason for working on that was because my gran would try to emotionally manipulate everyone with tears and I didn’t want to do that to my family (in no way am I suggesting this is something you do or have done - just saying why I looked at how I behaved).

I’m so sorry for the loss of your friend and hope you feel a bit better having a vent on here.