Hello friends. I’m posting here because you have no investment in my late husband, who has been gone now for almost two years. I need to talk about how I feel, and to know I’m being heard without judgement. I realise that all my friends were part of the group that Stuart and I belonged to. They know me as Stuart’s wife/widow and I don’t think they see me as an individual.
Since Stuart died his good friend (and colleague to both of us)Simon has been a great support and, I had believed, just a great friend. He would call in when in the neighbourhood, two or three times a month and of course our paths crossed at “work” (I volunteered there for about ten years).
In July, for justifiable internal political and mismanagement reasons, I resigned from the post and knew it was absolutely the right thing to do. I was supported by my colleagues there. This means that Simon and I don’t see each other on a paths-crossing basis any more but, from all he said, our friends would continue, he would still drop in, we still had things in common and, as he pointed out, “opposites attract”.
i took a break this summer, the first trip without Stuart. Mostly it was ok. I had a couple of wobbles-and when they happened I cried through them until I was empty then got on with things. There were a couple of messages from Simon, both ending “See you soon”, the latest just a couple of days before I was due home.
Home, I sent a text to several friends, including Simon. He’s the only one who hasn’t responded. I was puzzled, a bit confused . . . Getting on with life, after a couple of weeks I sent him another text, asking what I could do to help bridge the gap. No response.
Totally accidentally (Freudian slip?) when I was clearing out the memory on my phone, which I do regularly, I pressed the call button for Simon’s number.. Horrified, I iimmediately pressed cancel, but apparently it rang. Pretty soon there was a missed call from Simon (I was in the shower!) followed by a text saying basically he was sorry to have missed my call but he’s having phone problems. Haven’t we all heard this before?
So I just replied that it was good to hear he’s OK as I had been concerned. Sent him a hug and signed off.
SO - what do I do now? This is/was a good friend, I believed. Someone with whom I’d shared a lot, and not only our love for Stuart, but mutual understanding about each other. He’d shared stuff about difficulties in the family so our friendship wasn’t only one sided.
Is it possible that I am being ghosted? I miss this friend who I have trusted with a lot of me.
Your advice, please.
Catapan, I posted a discussion some time back asking somewhat you are asking:
i.e.: Its just past 10 months since Helen has gone. Whenever we went out for the day/evening when we got back home there was always (well usually!!) a message left on the phone. Now I know that a lot were left for Helen but some were for me!!! Now - nothing!!! I know its me being sorry for myself and I know no way near as popular as Helen - but no messages!!!
When posting that I was feeling very down and sorry for myself but I did know then and know even more so now that life moves on and whilst people don't really forget or stop caring, but they do just move on!
I know its not that people don't care and don't forget but their every day normal life just happens, whilst I/we have to start learning a new life.
If I do bump into Helen's old friend and cousins - that I haven't seen for a while they are always very (very) sorry that they haven't been in touch etc., but I have now come to accept that. We used to be two and now I am one and people do have difficulty with that.
On the other hand my old friends (and who Helen met through me) and the new friends I have met, have thrown a lifebelt around me and will listen to my moans and will also listen patiently when I talk about occasions I remember with Helen.
I have no advice Catapan, but would just say that this is a whole new life we are living and things will change. I don't think Simon has forgotten you or is ignoring you but things have changed.
Things change. Ray is right people move on...not to hurt us often just because the rhythm of life takes a new direction and our relationships are no exception. No reason to cross paths with Simon frequently so he is ok with that and perhaps unaware that his friendship with you means more to you than it does to him. We can become very sensitive about what others say and do after we are widowed-and from your writings it appears you are....what to do? Basically nothing now...closer to the holidays you could send greetings to him wishing him happy and merry etc and that you would enjoy seeing him again for a chat...but since your " mistake " phone call...anything more assertive right now might feel like pressure to him or being too forward or not welcome. Fact is you kinda need him more than he needs you - so it's not surprising he has not been attentive as of recent... let it go and let it be...if he contacts you resume your friendship. Just don't expect things...only brings disappointment. You are fine. We don't get our way just because we have a widow's need to be listened to and understood. Best to be friendly with others willing to return the friendship and not trouble our minds with those who no longer are there for us as they once were... just my take on this having been widowed now 6 yrs. with plenty of changes, disappointments and thwarted expectations where others have been concerned. lj
I'm sorry for your loss. I kinda take it as this, when we lose our spouse part of our life just stops right there, but for our friends it doesn't. They still love and care, they just have to continue on with their lives.Try not to take it bad, I would try to keep the communication lines open. Best of luck to you. I'm 10 months spouseless ,
When you say "difficulties with the family", what does that mean? Is Simon married? If so, that could be your answer. It's possible that "Mrs. Simon", if there is one, is uncomfortable with him being friends with a widow. And to be honest -- if he is sharing difficulties with his marriage with you (and again -- this only applies if he is married), that is the kind of blurring of boundaries that sometimes CAN result in things going where no one expected.
I am not saying that this is what is happening. But when my husband had an emotional affair with a colleague, I read a lot about this. "Mrs. Simon" (if she exists) may be very insecure.
I have a former colleague I am friends with who used to complain to me about his wife and I would tell him it's inappropriate. I've spoken with his wife on the phone and we are friends on Facebook and everyone is cool. She knows my boundaries are good.
I have a handyman who does small things around my property. He's from the same area as I am, and he often doesn't accept money. Because of my experience, I am very cognizant of possible risks -- not coming from me, but from him. So I'm considering inviting him and his wife to dinner just so everyone's signals are straight.
I don't know what's happening with Simon, but if he is not responding to messages and the vibe you are getting is not a "still friendly" one then I'm afraid you have to let it go. Unfortunately, the "fear of widows" is something we all have to be aware of. I wish it were otherwise.