Crisis, Grief, and Healing => Child Loss => Topic started by: Adams Brokenhearted Mama on June 22, 2012, 07:28:52 AM

Title: "Civilian" Friendships (those who are the non-bereaved)
Post by: Adams Brokenhearted Mama on June 22, 2012, 07:28:52 AM
Hi All - just looking for some of your thoughts. My husband and I enjoyed a really fun relationship with a couple prior to Adam's death. We had a lot of child problems in common with them and would commiserate. However once Adam passed we couldn't bear to hear negative comments from the wife about the children. True they still had their issues with them however they were alive and to me life means hope; death is final, it's over, what chances you had are now done, forever, and perhaps if you are like us, regrets can swallow you up at times. I have done a lot of counseling to learn to overcome guilt/regrets, etc.
The wife half of this couple was very outspoken, very funny, however while that can make you laugh at times it was a difficult personality mainly for the mostly negative outspokeness. This is an example of a comment that bothered me a lot; after my suicide attempt almost immediately following Adam's death she told me that she hopes I like the heat because I would have gone to hell for my actions if I succeeded. I didn't find that comment supportive.  Everyone has their beliefs; religious or otherwise, however not all has to be announced and in a flip way. She would often say that she hates her children and after losing a child that was impossible for us to swallow. She is high strung, has very sensitive feelings, says she had a rough life and everyone lets her down. None of my friends liked her and did not see the connection between us. I thought that I understood her and saw beyond what others wanted to dismiss. At times those caustic words could make you cringe but I liked to think that I appreciate that everyone has different styles of expressing themselves. The husband - no problems - always seemed like an easy going, kind, funny man and my husband thought he had found a true friend. This friendship we had together went on for many years, vacationed together, shared holidays, etc.
I know that a lot of the demise of this friendship was that we changed, what we could tolerate and what we could not. We maintained almost 100% of our other relationships but we needed to not see the female half of this couple because it, at the time, became toxic to us.
However, there was till this day a sadness that this friendship ended & I had a lingering love for them. One day in the past I reached out, sent her an email expressing sorrow over the demise of our friendship, tried to explain my point of view that as bereaved parents we changed and if we never see one another again, for whatever reason, to know that we were deeply grateful for their friendship and will always treasure the memories and wishing them all the best. She contacted me after reading that, she & I met up a couple of times and it was awkward. I felt that I tried hard to explain to her how I felt now and she felt that no matter what she did it was wrong. So we again discontinued our friendship - no anger just realizing that sometimes a relationship runs its course.
This time she reached out to me via an email and I was thrilled and my husband cautious. We are planning to meet up as couples, soon. I guess it's fair to say that we all are optomistically cautious. We once thought that we had found a loving, trustful friendship. I know that you can never go back however it would be nice to go forward. They were there with us for all of our prior traumas especially Adam's and with their support at the time, helped us feel enveloped in love. I can't explain it fully, because evidently I don't even recognize all the reasons even now, why I have a hard time in letting go (still in therapy-working on my "issues"). I lost two things that were dear to me after Adam passed, a job that I loved and a friendship that I loved too. Both of those losses makes my heart ache. Yes, I am more sensitive to loss following Adam's demise however I always had sensitivity to loss (maybe it was because I grew up in a household always tinged with sadness because of the demise of my brother at his tender age of seven years old?).
I would love to be able to live that saying .... some people come in your life for a reason, a short stay, a long one, there is a season for everything, etc. etc. I do believe in that saying and think that it is meritous however the intellectual side of me sometimes appears to be in odds with my emotional side.
I guess what I am trying to find out if anyone has moved on from friends, not because of arguments, but truly just from different perspectives at different junctions in your lives. We all have our stories how people say or do the things that don't get "us", the bereaved. I really don't know what I'm looking for from y'all, I guess some sort of affirmation of positivity - that I'm not foolish for trying again-recognizing the spark that keeps us (the women) reaching out to one another. While my husband & I had the problem with the female half of that realtionship, my husband thought the men could have kept a friendship going (I believe that the spouse thought so too), but those dynamics weren't even attempted I think because it would have been the "elephant in the middle of the room". I wonder if there is a chance for the friendship to move forward and if not, I hope that this time I can put it to rest. Maybe I just needed to voice my concerns ... and trying to sort out my feelings and the twinge of anxiety over this upcoming meeting. I hope that no one wants to "re-hash" anything and that it isn't as awkward as I feel and lastly hope that the relationship has a chance to move forward and grow from there.
While I recognize my prior/ongoing "letting go" sensitivities, it has become harder for me since the "pre-Adam" life and the "post-Adam" life. I want to be able to shed the shadow of sadness that lives inside of me and just be truly grateful for what I did have and for the blessings that I do have.
Another friend has parents who lost 2 children. I cannot fathom their pain. She believes that her parents, while bereaved, have been able to still love life while my husband and myself lost that spark due to the burdens we feel we bear. My husband & I try very hard and keep on moving forward with plans, vacations, home improvements, therapies, medications, etc., however we always have one lingering foot dragging behind us at the precipice of the dark abyss. I imagine how nice it would be to feel a genuine light heartedness. Never forgetting our sorrows but putting them in a perspective that doesn't feel like a constant heartache. We don't feel genuine. We feel like we are actors & I want to get off the stage and feel free of this ball & chain feeling.
Thank you to this forum for, if nothing else, giving me a place to express myself and feeling safe that I could do so here.
XO Paula
Title: Re: "Civilian" Friendships (those who are the non-bereaved)
Post by: SistersinCanada on June 22, 2012, 08:07:14 PM
Hi Paula
Your post stuck something inside me.  I've never lost a child so don't begin to understand your sorrow and pain.
However I did lose my sister and more importantly she was my best friend.  As a woman I understand how much
friendships mean.  I commend you for the strength to try and regain your friendship with this couple.  I truly hope
it works out.
I loved your words "you and your husband feel like actors".  You couldn't have said it better as I know I feel that way too.
Good luck as you move forward.  I sincerely hope you regain your friend.

Title: Re: "Civilian" Friendships (those who are the non-bereaved)
Post by: Adams Brokenhearted Mama on June 23, 2012, 04:54:22 AM
Thanks Terry. I am sorry for your loss. I never had a sister and my girlfriends I like to say are the "sisters of my heart". Good luck to you as your navigate through your life without your sister. It must be very hard to have lost your sister who was your best friend.
Title: Re: "Civilian" Friendships (those who are the non-bereaved)
Post by: Terry on June 23, 2012, 01:24:30 PM

Many friends went their separate ways when they became uncomfortable (to the point of not being able to keep comany with me, any longer) and realized that they could also lose their children. I was that constant reminder. A story we're all too familiar with here.

I even had one friend (?) tell me that "I feel uncomfortable around you Terry. I'm sorry. Because, if it can happen to you, it can happen to me." And of all people, she was, at the time my dearest friend, or I thought. I was there for her when her husband died and then later when she found out that her Ex had molested her daughter, and all through that very painful trial. But, she couldn't be there for me. I miss her still.

If there is something worth fighting for, I would take the chance, Paula. I hope your friendship can be rekindled. That would be wonderful!

Title: Re: "Civilian" Friendships (those who are the non-bereaved)
Post by: Adams Brokenhearted Mama on June 23, 2012, 02:30:04 PM
Whatever will be will be. I am hopeful and open to the idea of moving forward and I'll let you know after we meet up what the outcome is!
Title: Re: "Civilian" Friendships (those who are the non-bereaved)
Post by: Adams Brokenhearted Mama on June 26, 2012, 05:25:22 PM
We are getting together as couples this Sat. night. I am a bit aprehensive, my husband decidely so. I had asked them to dinner at my house and she declined saying that after such a long period of time her hubby would feel better if we went out to dinner. Today they invited us to their house for dinner which we accepted just to get this 1st time going. My husband was like - he feels uncomfortable to come here, yet we are to go there and I'm uncomfortable. Here's hoping that the reunion brings forth a new beginning. Will keep you posted.
Title: Re: "Civilian" Friendships (those who are the non-bereaved)
Post by: Adams Brokenhearted Mama on July 02, 2012, 06:19:38 AM
Followup: The "reunion" went very well; as if no time had passed. Here's to sometimes being able to move forward.
Title: Re: "Civilian" Friendships (those who are the non-bereaved)
Post by: Terry on July 02, 2012, 09:51:24 AM

Followup: The "reunion" went very well; as if no time had passed. Here's to sometimes being able to move forward.

That's great news, Paula!!! :) Thanks for letting us know!

Title: Re: "Civilian" Friendships (those who are the non-bereaved)
Post by: browneyedgirl on July 02, 2012, 11:14:51 AM
(((((((((Paula & Craig)))))))))))))))))