It appears you have not yet Signed Up with our community. To Sign Up for free, please click here....

Grief & Loss Message Board

When People You Thought Were Friends Abandon You in Time of Need

Post New Thread   Closed Thread
LinkBack Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 05-28-2006, 02:43 PM   #1
Junior Member
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 16
Overcomer32 HB User
When People You Thought Were Friends Abandon You in Time of Need


I havent posted in a long time. My brother was killed in a car accident last year.... he got into the accident, and then died 8 days later as result of it. He was 35.

I am his sister, and only sibling. When he got into the accident, I called everyone I knew to ask them to pray for my brother. People called the first day or 2, then dropped off. When he died, nobody was around. Noone called me from my church, or of friends I had thought I had, or anything, period.

His funeral came and went, and I kept waiting and hoping people would start calling me and coming to see me, talk to me, ask me what all happened, etc. Well, I ended up waiting and waiting all summer.... and nothing.

It's been over a year now and I still cant "let this go." I am angry but mostly so hurt that nobody cared enough to really BE THERE for me. I feel I got a bunch of lame excuses and things said to make me feel guilty for needing and wanting so much help in the first place.

Can anyone else relate, and if so, can u offer me any advice? I lost what little faith I had in other people..... and have been depressed ever since (on Zoloft now). I dont think I was wrong, or expecting or asking too much, to have people be there for me and care and hold me and love me!!



Sponsors Lightbulb
Old 05-28-2006, 04:08 PM   #2
Senior Member
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 265
BetsyJean HB User
Re: When People u Thought Were Friends Abandon You in Time of Need

Most people don't know what to say. They are afraid of bringing up a subject that may be painful to you. A co-worker of mine came back to work after her Mom died and I wanted to give her a hug - she physically recoiled and said she was afraid she would cry.
A good friend of mine had her husband of over 50+ years die - her friends have mostly melted away... it hurts her terribly.
When this happened to my mom, just as it is happening to you and to my friend, my Mom made the phone calls. She helped her friends feel comfortable and know if she wanted to takl about my Dad or not.
Can you do this? I know that its easy to take it personally and be angry.
But can you give them the benefit of the doubt and assume that they don't know what to say? Most people are very uncomfortable about death & loss - and I am NOT excusing their lack of even calling to say "I'm so sorry, and I dont know what to say, but I wanted to give you a call" - but you may find that meeting them halfway will help BOTH of you...

Old 05-28-2006, 04:32 PM   #3
Senior Veteran
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Seaview, WA USA
Posts: 599
MommaBee HB User
Re: When People u Thought Were Friends Abandon You in Time of Need

I think people have a really hard time being around when someone is hurting and like the other poster said, don't know what to do to help someone deal with a death. It is very uncomfortable for most. Most don't want to be around it. Unfortunately that leaves you on your own. Does your "outer persona" show everyone that you are doing ok? Or do you let them know that you are feeling low and could use some hugs and caring? People can't be there for you if they don't know you need them to be. I have learned that the hard way...
When I was younger, I was a member of a church and took alot of my personal time teaching and even produced a play that was very important for Good Friday. I had spent hours helping others and felt that I had very good friends in the church. Well, one day going to work, I was in a car accident. My car was totaled. I was in the hospital for three days with head injuries and was out of work for 3 weeks. I had just gotten this job and so I had not had insurance for the car and hospital stay. I had no money for food or anything during this time. Anyway, I needed some help and not one person from this church came to help me. Not one. I was extremely hurt. So I know what it feels like. I am no longer a member of any church because of this. I felt that I could not be around hypocrites, so I refused to do the play the next year and have just disappeared off the radar as far as they are concerned. What I learned is that you need to let those know that they can help you and that you still need that help. It is something I didn't do.

Old 06-10-2006, 01:03 AM   #4
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Ke
Posts: 327
CoyoteBound HB User
Re: When People u Thought Were Friends Abandon You in Time of Need

I kinda know the feeling your going through! My Mom just passed away on March 28, 2006 and my brother and his wife was here at my house and my neice and her husband, my sister and her husband came but my Mom had already passed away. When they came to pick my Mom up to take her to the funeral home, everybody just got in the cars and left me. I felt so alone and hurt. I would not of done them that way. My Mom was on Hospice so she passed away at home and it was very hard sitting here looking at the hospital bed that she had just been in and then to sit it empty. That is a bad feeling. My sister and brother still don't bother to call or come by my house and I am disabled my self. But one thing I can say is that I did take care of my Mom until she took her last breathe of air. I wouldn't change that for nothing. My thoughts and prayers go out to you.

Last edited by CoyoteBound; 06-10-2006 at 01:04 AM.

Old 06-10-2006, 05:11 AM   #5
Junior Member
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Asheville NC
Posts: 27
nccarol HB User
Re: When People u Thought Were Friends Abandon You in Time of Need

My prayers are with you. It is amazing how friends and good friends just disappear when the going gets rough. I can definately feel for you. I had that happen when I was younger and went through a really rough time with surgery and afterwards a really rough depression and for me the friends I was closest to are the ones who up and never called again. Guess we find out who are real friends really are. Excuses of they just can't handle it or don't know waht to say don't quite cut it for me. Sometimes a card or phone call, going to lunch anything shows they care. I have learned now later in life who is really there for me as well as I for them and the rest sorry are not worth my time. Time is too valuable to be wasted and I let it be known. I am sorry about your brother we seem to lose the ones that our dearrest to us way too soon. Regards Carol.

Old 06-10-2006, 09:40 AM   #6
Junior Member
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 16
Overcomer32 HB User
Re: When People u Thought Were Friends Abandon You in Time of Need

First off, I want to thank everyone for all of their very helpful replies! I wish I had come to the board again a lot sooner. It's always so helpful to see that you arent the only one going thru a particular thing. I do think it's rather disgraceful though, that this sort of thing happening is so common.... that should not be!

Betsyjean: Well, the thing is, I am not a "reacher-outer"... I am when something bad happens and a person needs help and a lift, but in day to day life, I always wait for people to call me to do stuff. Im quite passive that way. So when what all happened, happened, I was waiting for others to reach out to me, not only because I have that tendency anyway but also because I mean, what happened was a horrible, shocking tragedy. I was the one who needed reaching out TO, u know? And did not think I was at all unreasonable or unrealistic because of it. Now so much time has passed, no, I dont think I could reach out and call people and tell them I need help....its now been over a year since my brother died. I kind of assume people in general assume I have "moved on" and am doing Ok..... although that is not true at all.

MommaBee -- I think at FIRST I appeared to be pretty "ok"..... I was very calm and peaceful and God was helping me very much indeed. BUt I also was in a state of shock. When it wore off, and it did, I was in a very bad way indeed. Very, very troubled and shaken to the depths of my being. But this took like a month to kick in. By this time, people were long gone....and werent there to begin with, except for about 5 people from my church who did come to the viewing. I never heard from any of them again, except when one woman called me a month later to ask if I would help clean the church... she didnt even ask about or mention my brother at all, and I was extremely hurt and also angry.

As time went on, and I felt more and hurt and then I admit, resentful towards my church, I did attend services but would not talk to anyone. I was in so much pain.... and I must have given off the appearance of wanting to be left alone. Not smiling, head low, very quiet, etc. I wish someone had had the sense to realize my heart was crying out for someone, anyone, to come and sit next to me and put an arm around me and comfort and love me. I cant tell you how it felt to see my brother in a coma and on life support for 8 days.... he and I had been talking outside and then he left to go out for a few hours. Next thing I know, I was getting a phone call from a well-known Trauma Center telling me he had been in a severe car accident and to get there right away.

I did have 2 friends who came to see him with me the day that he ended up dying (right in front of us). I was very grateful for that, very much so. But I needed a lot more, and ongoing. I was traumaztized and profoundly shocked......

Anyway.... MoomaBee, that is terrible what happened when u had that accident. There is NO excuse for that at all, none whatsoever. The Bible talks about seeing a brother in need and that what good is it to say, "Well take care, hope u have enough to eat and stay warm" and then to do NOTHING for that peson, is meaningless. I am afraid too many are like that these days, very selfish and either willfully or "ignorantly" not meeting the even basic needs of others. I hope you have forgiven all involved..... and that in time may feel up to trying another church. Because I am told not all are like that. Would love to find a real "outreach" and loving church family myself tho!

CapCity and ncCarol: I am very sorry for your own experiences as well. It is so devastating, isnt it? I think I was hurt more by the lack of support than I was by the death of my beloved brother! It affected me that deeply.... to my core. 13 months later, I am STILL healing.... and lonelier than ever, I hate to say. I now have no close friends, and only a few acquiantances. I am unable - or unwilling? - to take the steps needed to find new friends or support. Disappointed in God, too. That He allowed me to go thru what I did after everything I had already been thru in life (years of an illness with great suffering and pain, extensive history of abuse, loss, suicide attempts, etc).

I dont know. BUt I thank each and every one of you for sharing your stories. They have helped me to feel a little better and a lot less alone.

God bless you,


Old 02-23-2008, 05:35 AM   #7
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Australia
Posts: 3
jaycee777 HB User
Re: When People u Thought Were Friends Abandon You in Time of Need

I am truly sorry to hear that you are going through this as well... it does happen way to often.

Myself, my mother got sick in around July last year. People as soon as they found out started to keep their distance, most of these people were like children to my mother, and she had helped them in so many ways.

After her funeral which was in November 07, No one contacted me whatsoever... I have two children who are now bitter towards the world too because of how much they adored their nan and how much they saw her help these people too.

Not only did I get no one calling or anything ... I also got horrid comments and people ending the friendship. I knew that they had only hung around for 20 odd years for what they needed out of my mother.

I have also heard the words that they find it hard to deal with and that they might not know what to say, and to be honest that is a load of crock. Tables turned I know I would be there no matter how hard it is. Its a lame excuse that is all it is.

I am now a very bitter person, and have no time for anyone really, I have lost faith in people in general. My mother was my best friend and the only honest person I have ever known. she would be turning in her grave if she heard the words some of these people have said to me since she passed.

There is no excuse to treat anyone badly, and when someone turns around and puts you down over the funeral or anything related to your loved one, that is just sick. That is what happened to me and mine.

I truly think there are few understanding people out there. I have really found the only people who do have understanding are those who have been there. What is sad is they have experienced this too. What has this world come to.

Old 02-23-2008, 08:42 AM   #8
Senior Member
Join Date: May 2005
Location: NJ
Posts: 176
FarmGirl31 HB UserFarmGirl31 HB User
Re: When People u Thought Were Friends Abandon You in Time of Need


I am really sorry for all you have gone is very, very painful... devastating in fact.

I actually was surprised when i saw a note in my inbox that there was a response to this thread as i had forgotten all about ever having posted! I just had to go and reread the entire thread. That last post I made was in 2006!

Jaycee, I went through a long period of anger and bitterness too. I feel I am out of it now, thank God. BUt it was very, very difficult.... I gained 60 pounds and drank like a fish. I felt sorry for myself constantly and could not get my mind off of everything that had happened. I suffered very greatly indeed, as I am sure you are right now and were earlier too.

But.... i want to say.... please try to find it somehow to forgive every single person involved. Otherwise, this will eat you up and destroy you for the rest of your life. It is getting to be close to 3 whole years now (can hardly believe it) since i lost my brother and I only feel more recently am I having more days where I feel somewhat "normal." I am still very lonely but I Did manage to reconnect somewhat with one or 2 friends... I realized i just had to suffer and then go on somehow. I forgave the alleged friends for their utter failure to me -- whether they believed they were in the wrong or not, I dont think they even did which is pretty bad -- and try to walk in love as Jesus would have me to do.

In the BIble, it states that "love keeps no record of wrongs" so I had to do this very thing, and "forget" to the best of my ability that people failed me completely during the most horrible time of my life. It has been hard, and I dont ssay I am without scars. Maybe I will always have those scars, on top of ones I already had from having had a very difficult life anyway.
But I so strongly urge you to forgive all people involved. Do it for you, not for them. You dont wnat you whole life ruined or wasted because of this hurt that came to you.

We live in a broken world full of evil and the reality is that people do let other people down and do shirk their responsibilities and duties and do live for themselves instead of for God and others. I hate that too, but it is the way it is down here.

I had to learn to accept people for being human and being capable of gravely disappointing and hurting me... letting me down severely. I had to think there must have been times when I let down someone too.... not like this... at least I would hope not. BUt surely I have let others down in my life, because i am not perfect either.

My faith in people took a large hit, as you say yours did... and that area is still kind of raw and healing to me. So i understand what you say there.. it is understandable.

Please forgive all involved. It is the only way you will be able to be somewhat "ok" with all this... even though No, what happened was certainly not Ok.

God bless you,


Old 02-25-2008, 10:55 PM   #9
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Australia
Posts: 3
jaycee777 HB User
Re: When People You Thought Were Friends Abandon You in Time of Need

Thank you...

I know in time (maybe a long time) I will forgive these people for what they have put myself and two children through, considering my mother and I were there for them all the time for 20 odd years. But at this point in time it is too raw to put it aside. I have learnt one thing, that is I truly believe it is best to surround yourself with those who you believe will be there for you.. I now after these friendships recognised that a lot of it was one sided and they just wanted to use us for the advice (mainly) mum gave.

I will not forget, and will not be their friends again (as immature as that may sound) It is too deep and the greatest time of need. I would not in this lifetime turn away from someone in such need.

Time will heal, but they will not be welcome in my life again, they haven't just hurt me, they have hurt my children, that is hard to walk past.

I am not just talking about those who walk away and avoid us, but to have someone accuse me that the funeral was about me and not my mother and many other horrible remarks, makes me even more livid... This one is more recent so am still quite angry.

It has only been 3 mths, she was my best friend and only other dedicated family I have had my whole life other than my children. So myself and my children have to stick together and try to get through this by ourselves.

Thank you.. I do know that faith is wavy for me at the moment, but I guess that is all about the grieving.. time will heal... I HOPE !!

Take care xxoo

Old 02-26-2008, 07:02 AM   #10
Senior Member
Join Date: May 2005
Location: NJ
Posts: 176
FarmGirl31 HB UserFarmGirl31 HB User
Re: When People You Thought Were Friends Abandon You in Time of Need

I will not forget, and will not be their friends again (as immature as that may sound)
It doesnt sound immature to me at all. It is wisdom.

It'd be like lending money repeatedly to someone who NEVER pays you back. It is really wise to continue to lend them money? I think not.

With the friendships, I dont know how close these people were to you and maybe some were quite close and others not so much.... I dont think it is wrong or immature at all to "step back" from all of them.
I currently have about 2 friends.... but there was a time I had 22 more people in my life than I do now. I just phased people out but was very deeply hurt in general over the lack of support but also just lack of RESPONSE> As if my brother never got into a terrible car accident and then died. It was and it as if he never even existed and that has hurt me greatly as well.

I still feel I am wounded and the healing still "in progress" and I dont know at all that I'll ever be able to have a truly close friend again in my life. The hurt was that deep.

I don't know the motive behind people in your life making very negative comments about the funeral but that is pretty appalling
I am sorry again that you had to go thru this and still are going thru it. 3 months is not long. You do have your children and so I hope they are a good support to and for you.

Best to you,


Old 02-29-2008, 04:48 PM   #11
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Australia
Posts: 3
jaycee777 HB User
Re: When People You Thought Were Friends Abandon You in Time of Need

Thank you for your response...

The so called friends that have not contacted me etc... I had known for a good 22 years, one of which my mother took on as another daughter almost. My mother and myself supported these people through their bad times... My mother was way better at it than me, but I did my best.

What is hard is that the one my mother took on as a daughter, decided while she was ill not to have anything else to do with us... I decided to try and repair the friendship after she passed, but she was angry at mum for saying some home truths to her, which she had done before. Mum was honest but caring. She has contacted me twice in three months, and she has outings and parties etc with other friends, but I am never invited, so I just got fed up.

The one that commented on the funeral, had no right at all to say what she did. She had taken events and "assumed" that they were fact, when at the end of the day, she was completely misinformed, but she approached it in a manner that was not appropriate at all. Everyone that was at the funeral knew I had set it up better than my mother had even requested, she only wanted to be cremated to save money for us, but she was worth more... so I even remember stating that it was mainly for those who hadn't said their goodbyes, and I was told by this so called friend that it was "my show" and many other horrible things she said. Which I won't go into.

Even if it was as she said, she has no right to say that to me, and to abandon a friendship of 22 years + is disgusting. Why now?

What is hard, is I am the support to my children, they don't seem to be able to support me, they don't even like me talking about it at this stage (their way of grieving I guess) But I have had three months of doing it on my own, trying to get back to college, and trying to find a way just to be able to pay the rent that has doubled since mum died. So yes its a hard time, which I know you relate to.

I am angry, and bitter, exhausted, sad and fed up, basically need a break from everything but that relief just isn't coming.

Thanks again for listening.

Old 03-18-2008, 08:29 PM   #12
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Richmond, Virginia
Posts: 6
Robin114 HB User
Re: When People You Thought Were Friends Abandon You in Time of Need

I am so sorry to hear about your loss. I probably wouldn't have known what to say to you because there is nothing I could say that would make you feel better. I had a friend who lost her brother, he was helping someone with a flat tire and another car hit him. The only thing I told her was that if she needed someone to listen and a shoulder I would be there for her. She did take me up on my offer.
What I want you to know is that you are not alone with not understanding why people behave the way they do. I had emergency open heart surgery in January. I had a tumor the size of a plum in my heart and could have died at any time. I am married 17 years and have two children 12 & 14. We have not seen or heard from my mother-in-law, brother and sister-in-laws, nieces and nephews since Christmas. They live 5 minutes away. My mother-in-law has not even called to see how her son and grandchildren are doing. Not to mention that my son, her grandson went in for surgery two days after I went in. I have been there for them when they needed me. My sister-in-law had breast cancer and needed help I was there, My mother-in-law had surgery I was there at the hospital, brought flowers, books etc.
I even had a neighbor tell me that my sister-in-law has been giving him regular updates on my condition which is amazing since I haven't see or spoken to her, nor has my husband. This is suppose to be OUR FAMILY! Pretending to be such a loving family to everyone. How would they behave if I had died? Would they treat my children and husband with the same indifference? I am really hurt and going to have a really hard time getting over this. I don't know if I ever will.
P.S.That friend that I mentioned above, she cooked meals for us and has checked in with me to see how we are doing. And I am very grateful.

Old 03-19-2008, 10:24 AM   #13
Senior Member
Join Date: May 2005
Location: NJ
Posts: 176
FarmGirl31 HB UserFarmGirl31 HB User
Re: When People You Thought Were Friends Abandon You in Time of Need

It will be three (3) years for me next month and I am STILL not all the way healed from the devastation wrought on me by being abandoned in my darkest hour (brother killed as result of car accident). I still feel I cannot trust anyone and the walls around my heart must be pretty high.... even all this time later. It does hurt, very very much. It is like, How can they ...??

Like you, I am one who would call, send cards, gifts, visit, etc., when/if i Knew someone had suffered a loss of a loved one or was ill, or what have you. I could not understand, comprehend, how I could be left completely alone in my great time of need.

I still dont have any answers other than, God is in control. He allows things to happen.... we usually dont and wont know all the whys this side of Heaven. In the meantime, I would really suggest you try so hard to forgive all who have so deeply disappointed and hurt you.... otherwise you will become bitter and then that just spoils your life, it really does.

I pray you find healing from all this.... I can certainly understand how you must feel.... it hurts, bigtime. Don't dwell on it if you can avoid doing so.... again, will just make it worse for you. Forgive.... bless them.... go on with your life to the best of your ability.

May God bless and keep you,


Old 02-21-2009, 12:31 PM   #14
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 1
friend4life HB User
Re: When People You Thought Were Friends Abandon You in Time of Need

Unbelievable. I recently had a horrible loss as well, and the people who I thought were my best friends (who even claimed to be), left me high and dry. Then I was made to feel guilty for thinking I needed them, and got so many excuses..."oh I thought you'd want to be alone" or "didn't think you wanted people around" etc...
I don't understand people. In fact, these are the very same people, who in their time of need (and there have been many), I was at their side in a split second. Perhaps that is just my personality, and then I expect the same in return.
I have no advice to give you as far as getting over that disappointment and pain. I have a strong relationship with God, and that is the only thing that has been keeping me going through all of this. I am hoping in time, my friends will see things more clearly, but I am not counting on it.
I could choose now, to cut those people out of my life, or reach out to them (even though I am still suffering). I am not sure how to do that, but one step at a time.
I am sorry, even though I do not know you, that you have to go through this. Suffering is a horrible thing. God is the only one who will NEVER abandon you no matter what; even when things are difficult to understand.


Old 02-21-2009, 03:16 PM   #15
Junior Member
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Louisiana
Posts: 43
BayouGir1 HB User
Re: When People You Thought Were Friends Abandon You in Time of Need

Well, I guess it is somewhat comforting to know that I am not the only person to experience this.

My Mother, my best friend, became ill and died rather suddenly this past August. I am an only child, so there is no one else. We were very close. As news got out that she had passed, not one person called to see how I was. Not one. So many people just went away after she died. I don't understand why. Yes, I too am bitter and dissapointed. I believed I had decent people in my life I could depend on, but I was so wrong. There are a few people that I never heard from again after the funeral. People I talked to on a regular basis, visited with, etc., just vanished for no reason.

And the inappropriate comments! From people ignoring her illness and asking me if I was going to parties. To my Aunt complaining that we didn't get a rosary for the casket. I'm sorry but it was very difficult to make the funeral arrangements. It was me and my Dad, and no one offered to come help in any way.

It is almost 7 months and I am still angry that in all this time, I still have not heard from so called friends. Total strangers on the internet have been more supportive. I will never look at these people the same again. They let me down and walked away when I needed them the most. It would take two minutes to send an email saying "Hi, thinking of you. Hope you are all right." But saying nothing says a lot!!!

I decided a while back to not waste any more time and energy wondering WHY, but I do still have the ocasional thought and wonder what so-and-so is upset about and why have they gone away?

Closed Thread

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Board Replies Last Post
When people closest to you deny you the shoulder to cry on? dolejaly Relationship Health 15 08-26-2009 05:29 AM
Nagging and when men shut off elatedgiraffe Relationship Health 46 11-21-2008 06:00 AM
Do you have your families support when it comes to the health boards sammyo1 Chronic Pain 54 06-19-2008 05:31 AM
When is enough - enough?? dogmansa Bipolar Disorder 75 10-17-2007 12:23 AM
What do you do when you can't stand it anymore? BigBlock21 Depression 22 08-17-2007 12:14 PM
How to be positve when there's nothing positive to look forward to? VoodooQueen Depression 12 08-14-2007 05:18 AM
just when i thought i can control this!!!! deedeehurtn Bipolar Disorder 1098 05-09-2007 06:40 PM
When do I need medical attention??? UT_mom Lupus 21 07-15-2004 09:43 PM
How does a person know when it's over and just not bother trying? Bambi27 Relationship Health 54 04-06-2004 09:19 AM

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Sign Up Today!

Ask our community of thousands of members your health questions, and learn from others experiences. Join the conversation!

I want my free account

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 05:06 PM.

Site owned and operated by™
Terms of Use © 1998-2016™ All rights reserved.
Do not copy or redistribute in any form!