When friends walk away

Mar 02, 2022

For a vast majority of people who have lost a spouse, friends go missing in action. The people you thought you could count on suddenly go silent. Friends who pledged their support should you need anything are the same ones who haven’t called in months.

It adds a layer of misery to the already unbearable pain of loss. It’s the collateral damage you didn’t see coming.

When friends aren’t showing up, we have options.

One option is to feel angry and hurt. We can argue with the current reality, which often sounds like, “this shouldn’t be happening.” We can make it mean something about us, such as, “they never liked me.” We can feel abandoned in our darkest hour.

We have every right to feel this way.

Another option is to let go of expectations about what should be happening and instead, observe what is happening.

Who is showing up? Perhaps you’re feeling support from unexpected people- acquaintances, neighbors, work colleagues or people you’ve never met in person but who are grieving, too.

Because our thoughts create our feelings, it’s helpful to monitor thoughts about your friends lending support (or not). What causes extra difficulty is when our expectations don’t match reality. When that happens, you have the option to consider other thoughts.

While every situation is unique, here are some possibilities:

  • The people who are not afraid of profound grief are showing up for me.
  • The people who aren’t here for me in person are probably praying for me.
  • We don’t live in a grief-savvy society, so my situation is foreign to some.
  • Some people are afraid to say the wrong thing, so they say nothing at all.

Throughout life, friendships naturally come to completion. This is also true in life after loss. Some friends simply won’t ever be there for us, despite their well-intended promises.

You will also likely find yourself drawn to different people, and new friendships form. Personally, I want to create friendships with people who have endured difficulties in life. They’re deeper, more thoughtful people. They talk about different things, and those are the conversations I find interesting.

If you’re feeling hurt by the absence of friends, I get it. If you’re craving conversation with people who have their own version of the pain, I see you. My six-month coaching program called Life Reconstructed is exclusively for those who have lost a spouse. It’s a combination of private and group coaching that is designed to help you make bigger strides toward healing while being supported by peers who get it.

If you’re ready to invest in yourself, simply click here to book a free Hope Breakthrough Session and we’ll see if it’s a fit.

Simply click here and we'll see if it's a fit.

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