There was a girl I was friends with in school, lets call her Lisa. We were not bosom buddies in the way that teenage girls sometimes are but I thought we would be friends for a long time.
Soon after we left school, Lisa's younger brother, who was her only sibling and very close, was killed in a car accident. I think I was 18 at the time and Lisa is a week younger than I am.
I attended the funeral ( I will never forget the primal scream of their mother when the casket slid out of view) and I phoned a few times asking how she was going but she just told me she was ok. I knew she had to be glossing over her real feelings but I had no real idea of how to support her when she wasn't prepared to be vulnerable. There were no hard feelings on my part and looking back I might have been secretly relieved that she didn't seem to need me.
I think it was a few months after Glen's death that I received a photocopied letter which Lisa was obviously sending to a few people. The letter talked about how let down she felt, how lacking in support and how her friends had failed her.
I didn't feel guilty, I was a little mystified but decided that grief might be making her angry. I don't remember replying to the letter in any way. I'm not sure if I made any attempt to fix things between us but I think I took the letter as a break up which I had no control over. I didn't ignore it but I also might not have responded.
Some time after that I heard that others received apologies but I had not.
I stayed friendly with Lisa for probably ten years after that and I don't think that bit of history was the cause of our break-up but I will always be haunted by the whole thing..........
Inspired by Going Gently