ASK AMY: Loss leaves a void, revealing friendship failures


Dear Amy: I recently lost my father. He was someone I loved and spent many hours caring for.

Over the years, I traveled to my hometown (in another state) to take care of my mother and father.

My longtime local friends (where I live now) have witnessed my devotion and love for my father.

Since we are all at the age when we are losing parents, I attended funerals, contributed to flower arrangements, and sent donations and condolences to these friends when their parents died.

When my father died, our family was blessed with a spill of love and celebration in the hometown.

However, none of my local friends, who I had considered some of my best friends, did anything to acknowledge my loss.

Yes, there were texts and messages on Facebook. But nothing on a personal level – not even a phone call.

I am absolutely devastated by the fact that these "friends" virtually ignored my grief.

This is not the first time I have experienced this imbalance in our friendships, and I am not sure how to deal with it so that I can heal and not become bitter.

Can you give me some guidance?

wounded and sad

Dear Hurt and Sad: You are caring, caring, sincere and caring when you respond to others. You show up.

My theory is that your exemplary behavior is a reflection of the close, loving, and devoted relationship you have had with your own parents. You empathize with the enormity of the loss because you love (and have been loved) so well. Your parents may have also modeled this human behavior.

Like you, I am in a stage of life marked by loss. And I would like to state unequivocally that to appear as a witness to the loss of another person is a vital expression of our own humanity. Frankly, in hindsight, I would trade any number of the weddings I attended in order to be there for (and with) friends in their pain.

Yes, you probably enjoy text from your local friends. No, it's not enough for you to feel comforted.

But here's the problem. First of all, they did not know their father personally. And unfortunately, modern life has taken away many of us from the important rituals surrounding death. We are emotionally alienated.

In addition, people do not always behave well, especially around events where they can claim that they "do not know what to do". Can you understand this and – as long as you can not forget your lapses – forgive these people for being so flawed?

I hope you continue to be available to people in their own time of need. This is an (additional) way of honoring the memory of your parents. They have created you very well.

Dear Amy: I have a food allergy. Sucks! I used to love food that I'm now allergic to.

I've been in a relationship for three years and my guy is very good about my allergy.

I also have some foods that I just do not like.

My partner sometimes puts all these foods – which I am allergic to and the ones I do not like – in the same category. He complains that he can not eat my allergen, but also these other foods too. I end up feeling like it's my fault for my allergy and the few other foods that repel me.

I try to make sure we eat delicious meals from all over the world. I get so upset when he starts talking to me about food that way. He's also upset.

I do not care if he eats these things without me, but he acts like he can not and that I'm the one to blame. How do I constructively talk about it?

– not hungry

Dear Not Hungry: I do not see the need for constructive talk here. Your face is being a baby. You should tell him, "Honey, besides my only allergy, no one is stopping you from eating anything. Go to the store, get some recipes and go crazy. You have my blessing!

Dear Amy: Oh, I saw red when I read the question of "Frustrated," whose face was keeping her – and her children – a secret from her other (older) children. Thank you for pointing out how harmful this is, not just for the adult but especially for the kids.

– Red Reader

Dear Network: I do not usually recommend people leave a relationship where there are children involved, but … I think she needs to leave.


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