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struggling with loss


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#1 babydreams85

Posted 05 May 2019 - 10:47 PM

Hi, I wasnt sure where to post this.

My best friend died at age 33  just over a year ago from a very aggressive type of bowel cancer. she left behind a nearly 3 year old son and a husband of 6 years (together for 14 years).

We did so much together, she and I were close friends since high school and my husband and her husband were close friends, we would travel together, have almost every Sunday afternoon together, laughing and talking, ordering takeaway dinner etc.

Her husband has just started dating someone new, and asked to bring her to our house for a Sunday afternoon like the old days and I am struggling with it.
Please know I would never, NEVER presume to tell anybody how to grieve or how to cope with loss and what comes after it, I will never be anything but supportive, I have not walked in his shoes.

As her friend though- i am really struggling with all of this, crying all the time again, remembering the look on her face when she knew there was no longer any hope because her illness was  terminal,  and talking about her son forgetting her because he was so young. My dad died of aggressive cancer when I was just a kid so maybe that is impacting on my feelings too, I'm not sure. Not even sure what Im asking as I know her husband is entitled to happiness after pain and loss and I would never try and take that from him.

Just feeling really sad today about what should have been. Life can be so cruel.

#2 DebbieDoesSanta

Posted 05 May 2019 - 10:56 PM

View Postbabydreams85, on 05 May 2019 - 10:47 PM, said:

Hi, I wasnt sure where to post this.

My best friend died at age 33  just over a year ago from a very aggressive type of bowel cancer. she left behind a nearly 3 year old son and a husband of 6 years (together for 14 years).

We did so much together, she and I were close friends since high school and my husband and her husband were close friends, we would travel together, have almost every Sunday afternoon together, laughing and talking, ordering takeaway dinner etc.

Her husband has just started dating someone new, and asked to bring her to our house for a Sunday afternoon like the old days and I am struggling with it.
Please know I would never, NEVER presume to tell anybody how to grieve or how to cope with loss and what comes after it, I will never be anything but supportive, I have not walked in his shoes.

As her friend though- i am really struggling with all of this, crying all the time again, remembering the look on her face when she knew there was no longer any hope because her illness was  terminal,  and talking about her son forgetting her because he was so young. My dad died of aggressive cancer when I was just a kid so maybe that is impacting on my feelings too, I'm not sure. Not even sure what Im asking as I know her husband is entitled to happiness after pain and loss and I would never try and take that from him.

Just feeling really sad today about what should have been. Life can be so cruel.

Did you or anyone else ever have a discussion with her about how she would feel if he re-partnered?

I feel like if she wanted him to be happy, then I would try to focus on that. He's trying to move forward with a person that is not comparable to your best friend. She is not there as a replacement, and she may even feel just as awkward as you.

If she couldn't stand the thought, and you're obviously still grieving your loss, be honest with him. Tell him that you look forward to meeting her eventually, but you're still struggling to process your feelings and explain that you need more time.

I can understand exactly what you are saying and it must be incredibly difficult, but I think he will appreciate your honesty.

#3 Prancer is coming

Posted 05 May 2019 - 11:04 PM

I am really sorry about the loss of your friend.

We have a similar situation, with my aunt dying and my uncle (by marriage) dating sooner than what everyone thought was appropriate - maybe within 6 months.  From the conversation I had with my uncle after my aunt died, it was like he had lost all reason for living and was really lonely.  People deal with grief in different ways and whilst I am sure he was on the rebound, it was his way of dealing with things and I think dating and having company made it easier for him to go in with his life.

Majority of the family don’t accept the situation, but I figure it is his way of dealing with the grief.  I never saw a lot of him before he died due to distance and age, but my patents did.  It is actually my mum (she is also an in law so maybe easier for her?) who has been most accepting, which is generally unlike her.  Anyway, she still has a fair bit of contact with my uncle and has a good relationship with him, where the rest of the family barely talk to him.

The point I am trying to make is I m sure you want to be involved in your friend’s child’s life, so maintaining a relationship is important and airing your views (which sounds like you cannot articulate anyway) won’t result in him ceasing the relationship and only damage your relationship.  By keeping that relationship, you can make sure you keep the child’s knowledge of his mother alive in case this drops off.  It does not mean he loved your friend less or she was replaceable, just that at this point in time this is what he needs to do.  It might work or it might fizzle out.  And does not mean you are being disloyal to your friend.

Edited by Prancer is coming, 05 May 2019 - 11:07 PM.


#4 ali-song

Posted 05 May 2019 - 11:23 PM

Could you possibly suggest a different meeting place/time, so it’s not so much like she’s being directed replaced in your life? Hopefully her DH would understand.

I’m really sorry for your loss. :(

#5 babydreams85

Posted 05 May 2019 - 11:55 PM

View PostDebbieDoesSanta, on 05 May 2019 - 10:56 PM, said:

Did you or anyone else ever have a discussion with her about how she would feel if he re-partnered?

I feel like if she wanted him to be happy, then I would try to focus on that. He's trying to move forward with a person that is not comparable to your best friend. She is not there as a replacement, and she may even feel just as awkward as you.

If she couldn't stand the thought, and you're obviously still grieving your loss, be honest with him. Tell him that you look forward to meeting her eventually, but you're still struggling to process your feelings and explain that you need more time.

I can understand exactly what you are saying and it must be incredibly difficult, but I think he will appreciate your honesty.

This is probably my biggest thing I guess, it wasnt that she didnt want her husband to move on, although her illness took her so quickly in the end that we had limited time for proper discussion before she was not coherent , in the conversations we did have,she wanted him to be happy, she just didnt want to be forgotten or replaced in a mother capacity, she never wanted her son to call anybody else mum when she loved him so much and didnt leave him by choice.

I feel very strongly that its not my place to have any say in what he does of course, and I dont want to alienate him or his new partner in any way, we are godparents to their little boy, we love him so much and he loves our kids like family too, they have so much fun playing together.

What I'm feeling now is 100% just my grief still talking which is why I'm afraid I'm not being rational, I see it from a different angle. She was like a sister to me in so many ways.

Edited by babydreams85, 05 May 2019 - 11:56 PM.


#6 Holidayromp

Posted 06 May 2019 - 10:57 AM

Having just recently lost a close friend to bowel cancer I can somewhat relate.

You have still yet to work through your emotions and whilst he has moved on with a new partner you are not in the same place.

Only you can decide when you are ready to meet the new partner until then keep the lines of communication open and take it from there.




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