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Am I being uncaring and insensitive following my loss

(79 Posts)
Happyally55 Sat 30-Mar-19 11:58:41

I’m at war with myself... almost 10 years ago now I lost my 20 yr old daughter to suicide and to say it knocked my world off it’s axis is an understatement.

I keep in contact, albeit irregularly now, with The mother of a good school friend of my daughters who yesterday messaged me to say how devastated she was that her daughter was moving 3 hrs away for a new life with her boyfriend. She contemplated life not being ‘round the corner’ and when grandchildren arrive and how sad she was. Normally I respond straight away but her words have made me sad & angry so I have not replied yet. I am struggling when I really want to shout that her daughter is not dead like mine, that 3hrs is nothing in the grand scheme of things, that my daughter won’t ever feel the wonderment of holding her own baby let alone me holding a grandchild.

I’m just asking for advice on what I can say when to be honest I feel she is being a) insensitive to me (especially as Mother’s Day is tomorrow and I will forever be broken) and b) over reacting when 3hrs is a mornings travel that’s all whereas I do t ever see my daughter again 🙁

Just to add a work colleague has this morning posted an emotional message on Facebook that she experienced a terrible dream last night from which she awoke in tears as she dreamed all who she loved were taken from her. A subsequent ‘pity party’ of supportive messages followed. Oh my god it was just a dream!!!!

Help me stop feeling so angry and emotional please. 😥😥

Sandieanne Mon 01-Apr-19 11:55:21

I too have lost a ds and people imagine that because time has passed and you dont mention it all the time that it is not constantly on your mind. I agree with Annie. I think people are just wrapped up in their own lives. Let it go for your own sanity.

jaylucy Mon 01-Apr-19 11:34:47

Sorry, but I don't think the friend is being insensitive as others do !
Your friend's life has carried on, along with her daughter, while yours has been on hold after the very sad loss of your own.
I know you feel that no one else has suffered as you have, and maybe that is true, but your friend, just wants for you to be a friend and commiserate with her. Unless you have lost a child of your own, you can't realise that your grieving in some form will carry on until your last breath. It does not mean that you cannot be supportive to other people who are struggling with dealing with problems in their own life, no matter how minor you feel them to be!
Take a deep breath, give your friend the time that she currently feels she needs - she may have real fears that once her daughter is away from her, that something drastic may happen to her as did your daughter.

Happyally55 Mon 01-Apr-19 11:21:38

Thankyou everyone for your thoughtful words of empathy and support.

For the moment I have decided not to respond at all. I believe she is the sort of person who will read back over her message and knowing the absence of a reply will eventually feel terrible for upsetting me with thoughtless words.

Heartfelt Thanks to all xxx

Saggi Mon 01-Apr-19 10:22:08

B9 has got it right....give her thoughtlessness a week and reply. Don’t admonish just tell her it’s not the end of the world and you wish your daughter was just a short journey away. She didn’t mean to be hurtful... people put it to the back of their minds. You never can.

GrandmainOz Mon 01-Apr-19 00:35:09

happyally55 a couple of months after the suicide of my son, a close friend called me in tears as her daughter had just gone away on a camp and it was the longest they had ever been parted, and she was missing her and couldn't stop crying, could she come over for coffee and cry on my shoulder - as "you'll understand, I know".
I'm afraid I ended the friendship there and then.
I didn't shout or insult or anything like that. I was simply floored by her insensitivity and knew this was a person I could no longer bear to be around.
I calmly said "I can't believe you're saying all this, knowing that I will never, ever see my child again. Please don't contact me again".
Maybe I was wrong, but I felt in that instant that someone who could hurt me like that wasn't someone I needed around.
You have my utmost sympathy

llizzie2 Sun 31-Mar-19 23:39:44

I am so sorry that you lost your daughter in tragic circumstances. It is natural that you should always miss her and many of us who have lost loved ones feel the same. My late husband died ten years ago in March and I feel for you. We are not supposed to stop thinking of them just because they have passed away. Memories of them are enjoyable and make you feel as though they are near, and it is most likely that they are. Why look for the living among the dead? Bringing up children is what makes us who we are. Loving thoughts of them bring love to mind. Stop feeling emotional and unhappy. You have absolutely nothing to beat yourself up over. That woman is not your friend and you should not have any conversation with her at all. The other 'friend' telling the dream: how stupid is that? Perhaps she was reading the book of Job before she went to bed! It is bad to tell others of dreams like this. She may not even have been dreaming. It could be that something crossed her mind and she wanted to make capital out of it. Some people do this to draw attention to themselves without realising that they are doing themselves harm in the process. Some people like this do it thinking they are controlling the emotions of others and that empowers them. You must not allow people to influence your mind.

ElaineRI55 Sun 31-Mar-19 22:42:02

Happyally55 I doubt your friend meant to be insensitive or hurtful and would be appalled to think that she upset you.
I can't imagine the pain of losing a child to suicide and I'm sure you think of your daughter every day.
Some friends lose touch after such a tragedy and don't know what to say or how to behave around the person who has lost their loved one. Perhaps your friend is someone who has been there with kind words and a listening ear and also feels that talking to you about everyday things and her own worries is part of helping you not to dwell solely on your loss. She may just have been a bit unintentionally insensitive on this occasion. It will no doubt also seem much longer ago for her than it does for you.
I would let it go, be as sympathetic as you are able to be and perhaps, if you feel the need and it isn't too painful, mention in some future communication to her that you sometimes wonder where your daughter would be living and whether she would have children etc if she were still here. That may be enough to make her a little more sensitive in future.
I'm sure you'll have many special, happy moments with your daughters while never forgetting their sister.
As for FB - not worth getting upset by it. Although it has it's uses, there are too many opportunities for froth and superficial empathy. flowers

sharon103 Sun 31-Mar-19 21:11:44

I accept people’s lives go on, happiness and sadness. Your friend is sad and she shared her sadness with you , i don’t think she was being thoughtless , the 10 years since your daughters death seems like yesterday for you but not for your friend. Oops, my comment was for this post you made made on Saturday. Not Sundays post. Never a truer word spoken Annieback. Big hugs to you all. flowers

sharon103 Sun 31-Mar-19 21:02:53

Never a truer word spoken Annieback. Big hugs to you all. flowers

Anniebach Sun 31-Mar-19 20:28:30

Last Summer I was upset my three grandchildren were moving away and i would be lost without them, I posted of it here , I knew there were posters who had suffered the grief of their child’s death. I was insensitive?

trendygran Sun 31-Mar-19 20:28:16

Happyalley55. I totally sympathise with you over your feelings.I lost my ( younger) 33 year old daughter to suicide -leaving two young daughters then aged 4 and 2.That was 9 years ago last month.
Many people have been ,sympathetic,and still are on her birthday in April.This especially true of her own ‘best’ friends.
Those with children ( now adults) have no real understanding of the continuing pain and loss, even after 9years.
Every year at this time I am very aware that there is,and never will be a card from her. Luckily my elder daughter ( now ‘only’ as I was) lives near me and invited me for dinner. She has two children and a very lively dog, so that definitely helped to make today happier than it would have been alone.I lost my DH 10 years and 4 months ago.
I try not to feel envious of those who still have Partners and all their children ,but it is still hard.

pinkquartz Sun 31-Mar-19 19:47:54

I should have previewed my post it sounds so harsh when I read it back.
I am actually very sympathetic when someone else has a loss like a death, or serious illness because I know how terrible the pain is.
There are no words but there is a sharing on a non verbal level. So sorry a 3 hour journey may upset the friend but she needs to readjust. HappyAli has nothing to feel bad about.

pinkquartz Sun 31-Mar-19 19:37:50

I can see no comparison between a daughter living 3 hours away and a tragic death and the loss of a daughter.
Of course the friend wasn't consciously being insensitive but she still was insensitive.
3 Hours away is nothing. Has this woman no life of her own? HappyAli you do not need to be do anything or say anything if you do not feel to. If you are close friends it might be something you want to talk about at some other time.
I have had to cope with tragic bereavements and I don't mind other people being upset when they have to deal with a loss of a loved one, but for a 3 hour journey well that is life. Young ones grow up not remain tied to mum! Also daughter might return in a few years.

25Avalon Sun 31-Mar-19 19:26:43

Everything is relative. When my friends knew my son had a life limiting condition some of them felt they could not talk to me about their worries as mine was so much worse. I took the view that their worries were still serious worries for them and that was what was important and they should not feel unable to talk to me.
It is only when you have been through a truly horrendous experience like yours that you have any understanding at all of how devastated someone must feel in a similar situation.
I am sure your friend did not mean to cause you grief and was just being very unthinking as she was tied up in her own upset. I would just assure her that she will adjust and get used to it and how lucky she is to have her own family so close rather than in a far away country or not even here.

Pat1949 Sun 31-Mar-19 19:25:26

Your friend was insensitive obviously without meaning to be. If you pointed it out I would imagine she would be mortified that she had made such a remark without thinking. I suppose we're all in danger of making remarks that hurt so try not to take it to heart. Thinking of you. 💐

Merry16 Sun 31-Mar-19 18:56:26

I very rarely enter these threads, but having read yours Happyally55, I felt I had to respond. I totally understand where you are coming from. Having lost my son in law to suicide, I could scream sometimes when friends complain about what to me, seem to be trivial things. My daughter has to struggle to raise two very small children whilst grieving for her husband. Then others complain that their poor daughters have to manage without their husband for a day! I just have to shut my mouth and say nothing. But inside I’m so angry. And I know I’m being unfair and unjust. The loss of a loved one through suicide is the hardest loss one can endure and I’m so sorry for you. Your friend is being insensitive and should complain to someone else.

grannybuy Sun 31-Mar-19 18:20:51

I completely understand your feelings, even though we can all be thoughtless at times. Just twenty minutes ago, I saw my cousin out. I had invited her for lunch, as she is a widow, and her only son died two years ago. Just before she arrived, I suddenly thought to remove my Mother's Day cards, and my birthday ( today) cards that said mum on them. I felt that it would be ' rubbing her nose ' in it, given her situation

Caro57 Sun 31-Mar-19 16:38:47

I suspect she hasn’t thought it through. Do you feel able to empathise with your friend and point out how much they will be able to appreciate and value their time when they get together in the future..........

Day6 Sun 31-Mar-19 16:17:29

Happyally, I am so sorry for your loss. I imagine it is something you never get over.

I hae a friend ho lost her daughter in tragic circumstances, over 30 years ago. I know the hurt lives with her every day. I don't think your friend is being insensitive. She too is facing a loss -and yes, she still has er daughter but she is moving away and the closeness they shared by being near each other is going. I felt the same way when one of my AC moved down south for work.

It hurt so much. My life changed - BUT it wasn't like the change you experienced. It was different, very different but her feelings are just as valid as yours. As HER friend I hope you sympathised?

Can I tell you about my friend (and I am not for one minute saying you are the same) but she wore her loss like a badge, a martyr to loss and sadly, her whole life became about the loss of her daughter. (It's been nearly 30 years now.) She imagined others felt her pain and every conversation tended to turn eventually into one about her sense of loss. (I know the pain she feels - she is a dear and close friend.)

It took a female vicar to take her aside a few years ago and gently, over tea, tell her loss affected many people, in different ways, and it wasn't always about her. My friend had upset others by making their bereavement about her, by turning the wake into the way she felt about the loss of her daughter. People were cross that this wasn't her moment, her time for sympathy.

I have probably worded that very clumsily. I mean to cause no offence, but maybe you need to appreciate your friend's loss and not think of her being insensitive? She is hurting too and a parting of the ways DOES hurt and take a while to get used to.

Sometimes you need to step outside your on pain to be a friend, don't you? You have friends by being a friend, and I'd say this a time for you to be a good friend and not the grieving mother.

I really feel for you, and wish you all the best, but let your heart, although broken, release compassion for others too.

Jaye53 Sun 31-Mar-19 15:23:02

Can't offer advice.

Jaye53 Sun 31-Mar-19 15:22:16

So so sorry for your loss of a dear daughter. But emotionally thick people are a pain as your friend is.can't offer advice sorry it's a difficult one.poppy

Horatia Sun 31-Mar-19 15:13:19

Your friend probably is full of sympathy for you but keeps it in a different place in her mind to her normal daily life and thoughtlessly didn't think before she spoke. Don't lose a good friend if you know she cares normally and is kind.

Mal44 Sun 31-Mar-19 15:12:59

Anniebach how wise and kind you are.

BazingaGranny Sun 31-Mar-19 15:08:07

Dear HappyAlly, so very sorry for your loss, and yes, your friend was totally insensitive.

Something similar happened in my book group this week, I was so upset - but internally, I left rather abruptly but without saying anything, pretending that I had to prepare for a meeting the following day.

And yes, Mothering Sunday can be very difficult. Hope you have found some of the responses to your post to be helpful. 🌺💕🌺

sarahellenwhitney Sun 31-Mar-19 14:59:02

That children chose to 'leave the nest' cannot be compared to loss through death and time is not always as some would say. 'a great healer .'Just a few words spoken without thought will reopen wounds.
The fact you are not in regular contact with this person but now hear from her with what she feels is 'a loss' suggests it may not be just a one off ? but more to come with 'woe is me' if daughter being 'three hours distance '! doesn't visit' her mother as much as mum would like or mum cannot visit daughter.
Should this happen then the question is.' are you prepared to 'keep quiet and listen ' or ? puts an end to any future correspondence.