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I had heard that this sometimes happens, but that knowledge doesn't help a bit when it actually happens. Close friends for 30+ years. Shared lots of up and downs, but when the BIG DOWN came of my husband passing away, she pretty much disappeared.  She attended the viewing and the funeral. Declined the invite to the funeral luncheon as her daughter and family were arriving from out of state same day or next. Ok...I get preparations have to be made but visit had been planned months a head. For next 8-10 days, not a word from her. She posted on Facebook about all the activities they were enjoying, parks, zoo, movies, ice cream parlor, swimming, eating out lots, etc. Many posts with lots of pictures. Ok...I understand these visits are important  and I was glad they had a great visit. A couple of days after the daughter and family left, my friend and her husband went to the daughter's out of state home to stay with grandchildren for a couple of days and then they all visited together for more than another week.  A few days after returning home, she left a phone message asking if I was ready to resume our weekly night out. I didn't respond. A day or so later she came by, asked if I was mad at her and I said no, not angry just very hurt. She replied that she "really wanted to come over" the week her daughter was here, "but it just didn't work out".  I couldn't believe she would say that, knowing full well I had seen the posts and pics of how she had spent most of the past month. I told her I had nothing else to say to her and she left. "Didn't work out"... I am beyond saddened by the loss of the friendship, but I am also embarrassed that our friendship has obviously meant a lot more to me than it did to her all these years.

Sorry for venting, but I really needed to get that off my chest.

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I'm so sorry this happened... My husband died 4 years ago and a young cousin that was close to us pretty much did the same thing...
I tried to understand that it simply reflects on the kind of person she is...
And i do feel sorry for that and for her. I try to make light of it and have nicknamed her "Mystery cousin"... since we literally haven't seen her in four years. My daughters aren't amused and haven't forgiven her. I tell my daughters that Mystery Cousin tries as best she can...she's just not "all there"

It's sad.. So sorry it happened in your life too...
My husband died 3 years ago. Many people who I thought were friends disappeared. We were friends with neighbors who live on our block. When Bob started to decline this "friendship" declined. I occasionally had coffee with the wife. After Bob died they avoided me, which puzzled me. A few months after Bob died I started to join in local activities and have met many nice people and I have created a new life for myself. Several months ago my neighbor's husband died suddenly. Since then she has tried to become friendly again. Even though I am sorry for her, I have no desire to let her into my life. She has a son who lives close by, so she is not alone. I used to feel badly about "friends" who disappeared, I no longer feel that way. I have let it go and have moved forward. Bob and I shared a good life and I will always miss him. I realize that I have to accept my situation, and try to live the best life I can. I am fortunate that I have good children who encourage me. Peace to all.
Hi Rose 481 and everyone. I'm so sorry this happened to you, sadly, it's so common. I was partnered 31 yrs to my soul mate and best friend, he passed March 1st 2009, from a 15 month battle with cancer at 50. Since finding WV approx summer of 2010, I have read about and chatted with so many widows and widowers on this subject. I don't think I have ever met 1 widow/widower that hasn't experienced this scenario to one degree or another. Doesn't make it hurt any less, but this has been my experience.
Mike and I were in our mid teens when we met and fell madly in love. Both of us were very social and had quite a few friends. I think because at that time, and for years later neither of our families were supportive of our relationship, our friends were very precious to us, and we luckily maintained quite a few friendships from middle school and high school thru our life. As we got older, more mature in our life, these friendships grew closer, most were heterosexual friends, they got married, had children, some got divorced and remarried. We both loved kids and wanted them, but at that time, it was illegal for us to marry, illegal for us to adopt, so we loved and cherished and became very close with our friends and their entire families. We were always the go to babysitters, attended all Boy Scout jamborees, both Mike and I were scouts in our childhood, graduations, birthdays, so on. A major percentage of our friends were heterosexual couples. We didn't plan it that way, we just found it very difficult to find other male couples at that time that were as dedicated and conservative in our values and life as we were. We would have loved to find other male/female couples to be friends with. Because we had no children of our own, and in the early years we worked so hard to build security, we became a lot more financially successful, than our friends, moved to nicer, bigger homes, had a larger liquid income, our home became the place to be for all social gatherings, holidays, birthdays, dinners, so on. As we added friends thru the years, they became part of our inner circle, joining our "family" of friends. In our 30s, our holidays and celebrations were always full of friends every night, our family, as the kids grew, they treated us as family, we would take all the kids on camping trips, Disneyland, on vacations, we all were very close. Mike and I in our late 30s and early 40s began contributing to college tuitions, as the kids got married, we helped them with down payments on homes, so on. Well when Mike was first diagnosed w cancer at 48, we didn't realize it at the time, because we were both so shocked and devestated of this beast invading our lives, but slowly, the calls, visits, involvement in our lives dwindled. I didn't even realize, how alone we were and had been, since revealing mikes diagnosis to our family of friends at a dinner we had for everyone, shortly after his diagnosis. Sadly, 90 pct of those friends, we considered family disappeared, are still gone now. Most showed up at the funeral, of course said they would absolutely be there for me, in this horrible event in my life, however this proved to be untrue. About 6 months into my journey after Mike passed, I was really alone and so grief struck, I thought, maybe all our friends are grieving themselves and are so devestated they are afraid to call me, not sure what to say, so I took it upon myself to call so many of the people who had been so close to us for over 25-30 yrs. it was devastating. The uncomfortable reactions on the phone. These people obviously felt bad, very uncomfortable, but wanted nothing to do with me at this point. The lack of phone calls, contact was deafening. I had to accept, I was basically alone and mikes passing had not only devestated my life with him, but also my relationship with long time friends. Thank goodness, some friends have remained in my life. Mikes family remained and I'm so grateful. But the life I had with Mike and our friends is just a memory. It was very devestating to come to true grips with this, even the friends that remain, are there only through my efforts. If I stopped calling, I think they would never call. I have backed way off from contacting them as well. 7.5 yrs into my life since Mike passed, is still very quiet. I have made some new aquaintences, some new people in my life to have coffee with. I have a new partner, and my life moves on. But this experience has changed me, not sure if for the better or worse yet. I'm not as generous with my time and effort for new people. I have become way more introverted, introspective. I spend time now with my mother and my partner, we live a very different, quiet life. It's ok now.

Thanks for the response Steve. I am sorry for the loss of your partner and the disappointment you have experienced in those whom you thought were good friends. DH and I never had much of a circle of friends. In the early years there was not a lot of money for socializing. Dave only had one sibling and he and his wife lived a different life style than we did...we just never had much in common. We spent a lot of time with my sister and her husband, playing cards, etc., but they began having marital problems and later divorced. With Dave's illness, often when we did make plans, they had to be cancelled and people just generally shy away from "illness".  If you can get "fixed" in quick order, they will generally be supportive, but if it goes on and on and on they pretty much head for the hills! I did hear from my friend again saying she was sorry she let her life get in the way. I wanted to say, "you know it's not like he broke his leg or had his gall bladder out, he died!  Sorry the timing wasn't better for you!" Instead I didn't respond and don't intend to. Every excuse she makes only makes me feel worse and what is done is done. Just like we can't take back spoken words, we can't redo actions, or the lack of inaction. We will both have to live with the choices that were made.

It is sad after you and your partner did so much for so many others that they wouldn't be more supportive of you, but sadly it is true that "no good deed goes unpunished".  I wish you peace.

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