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Death and Grieving Coping with loss is difficult at any age, but you are not alone during this difficult time. Reach out to other users in this forum.

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  (#1 (permalink)) Old
CanadaCraig Offline
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When ex-friends DIE - May 30th 2010, 11:26 PM

Hi Everyone,

I hope you're OK.

I have often had very unusual friendships. When in high school - one of my best friends was the school librarian. We spent a LOT of time together - going for drives - for walks - to movies - to dinners - and so on. You know - 'friend stuff'. It didn't matter to ME that she was 27 years older than I was. She was a great human being and I loved her. [In a friendship kind of way] She was funny and warm and sensitive and compassionate. And I know that she loved me too. She was one of the very few people in my life that I could really talk to. Many of the 'staff' members [In the high school] gave her a rough time [So I was told] for having ME for a friend - but we just laughed it off. [As best we could - besides - we were 'just friends']

After I graduated from high school [Way back in 1981] our friendship basically ended. I did see her once after that - but I can't remember when.

Just the other day - I thought I would see if I could find her. I did the usual things - like searching her name on Facebook and so on. But no luck. So I did a google search. I eventually found her. Sadly - what I found was her obituary. She had died almost 3 years ago of cancer. My heart strings were yanked on pretty hard - that's for sure. My very special friend from my past - had passed away. May you rest in peace dear Adrienne.

Larry was a high school pal. In grade 10 he was diagnosed with cancer. All of his 'friends' ditch him when they heard the news. [Out of fear or whatever] All of his 'friends' - but one - that is. That's right. I stuck by him. [Isn't that what a friend is supposed to do?] At only 15 years old - I found it hard to deal with the idea of someone close to me - dying. It was especially hard given the fact that I had no one to talk to about it - no one to share my feelings with. The 'care-givers' of the world - the 'friends of the sick' - are far too often ignored. And they shouldn't be. We always need to keep THEM in mind - TOO!

Anyways - 'we' had 'Christmas in October' for Larry as he was not expected to survive much beyond Halloween. [It's not easy finding a Christmas tree in October!!] As it turned out - he did NOT die. In fact - he made a 'miraculous' recovery. He got better - put on some weight - and got back to the 'job' of living life. Which was GREAT!! He did get cancer again [Most of his stomach had to be removed] but he made it through that too. Sadly - what didn't survive was the Larry I knew. I soon discovered a side of Larry that I didn't like very much. As is the case with many survivors of cancer [Or plane crashes or whatever] Larry adopted a 'nothing can get me' attitude. And given the fact that Larry was gay [He was just on the verge of 'coming out' when he got sick] that new found attitude of invincibility basically removed any previous 'line in the sand' that he might of had in the past. [Regarding sex - and WHO he might have sex with - and so on]

Our friendship ended. I found him embarrassing - to be honest. He really 'got into' the 'leather scene' and was always dressed up in black leather [Boots, jacket, vest, and an unusual looking cap] and had chains hanging off him - including one that was attached to his nipples and so on. I might have been OK with all of that IF he was nice to me. But he wasn't. He would often try to humiliate me in restaurants. [Rushing to the front door and yelling something like, "Hey lover - I'll be in the car!!"] THAT really bothered me. And not so much because of what he said - but because of the fact that he KNEW it upset me. He became very self-serving, etc. He also felt guilty [So he told me] about not ever being able to repay me for all that I did for him. And it was that guilt that caused him to be mean to me. Fine - and understandable - I suppose - but did I need that in my life? NO - I didn't. But don't get the wrong impression. It took everything in me to finally end that 'friendship'.

A few years later - I stumbled across his obituary in the newspaper. It came as quite the shock. I phoned my mom and as I soon as I heard my mom's voice - as soon as she said, "How are you doing?", I burst into tears. [Poor mom!! lol] All those years of 'being strong for Larry' by NOT crying - just burst out of me. He died of AIDS. He was only 29 years old.

A met a guy at an 'Overeaters Anonymous' meeting. His name was Brad. He was 23 years older than me. [I tend to like people much older or much younger than me - for some reason!] I liked him a lot. He was married and had two kids. We shared a lot of similar personality traits. Obviously shared a problem with food. But we were also codependent. So much so that we ended up co-creating a 'Codependence Anonymous' group. We were even featured in a full page article in the 'Vancouver Province' newspaper regarding what it means to be codependent. [My name in the article was changed to 'Alex'!! lol] We did a lot together. We went to see his parents in Seattle and took a trip to the Edmonton Mall. [That's in Alberta] Trouble is - he was betraying my trust. He was telling his wife what I was telling him. And she was telling their kids. [Who were about my age] That really hurt. Especially given the fact that I have really big 'trust issues'. Besides - I didn't want his son [Especially] or daughter - let alone his wife - to know that I was dealing with sexual identity issues.

The moment the trust died - the friendship ended. As far as I am concerned - a betrayal of trust is a betrayal of love. I saw Brad one more time - to personally let him know how sorry I was to hear that his mother died. After that - I never saw him again. A few years later I got a phone call - a message on my answering machine - informing me that he had died of pancreatic cancer. He was 62 years old. Rest in peace Brad.

I just needed to say all of that - for some reason. Thanks for taking the time to read it. That means a lot to me.


Last edited by CanadaCraig; May 31st 2010 at 11:14 AM.
  (#2 (permalink)) Old
Jocelyn. Offline
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Re: When ex-friends DIE - June 2nd 2010, 02:50 PM

Hi Craig,

I'm glad you were able to get that off of your chest... I hope it made you feel better.

It's hard enough ending a friendship that you've spent much time, effort, love and emotion to develop. But to know that you may never get closure because the person has since passed away can be very devastating.

Maybe it would help to write them a letter and leave it at their grave site. Tell them the good and the bad, how they made you feel wonderful or awful, tell them how much you will miss them, how much they really meant to you. Writing letters that will never get read always make me feel a ton better

When reality is a prison, your mind can set you free.
  (#3 (permalink)) Old
Kitty. Offline
Jeez, get a life!
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Re: When ex-friends DIE - June 2nd 2010, 05:31 PM

Hi Craig,

I'm sorry to hear about that. I know it's hard when people you know/used to know pass away.

I agree with the poster above me about the letter writing. Even though you can't get closure in person, you can find closure in a letter.

I'm glad you were able to get this off your chest. I hope you feel better.
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