Why I Ghosted My Grieving Friends

27 May 2016 Written by 

 Five of my friends lost a parent in the past year. This was terrifying, tragic and unspeakably unfair — they’re all younger than 35 and did not expect to have to deal with this for at least 20 years.

“Stop asking if I’m okay!” 33-year-old Anna Goldman said, two weeks after her mother died of a slow cancer that leeched energy and color from her body. “Of course I’m not!” Goldman knew how ill her mother was; she had attended most doctor appointments with her, asking questions she researched online and filling small notebooks with scrawls about treatments and home care. She requested second opinions and paid for extra scans. She spent hours Googling “dealing with loss” and “coping with losing a parent.” She knew what was happening, but that didn’t make it any easier.

As her friend, I existed in no man’s land. I wanted to help her, to show support and love and that I cared, but I didn’t know how. Like many millennials who move for school or career choices, I was in a different time zone, thousands of miles from Goldman.

I called once, twice — she didn't pick up. I worried that I was disturbing her mourning process. I sent a card. I texted, I called again, a week later.

Eventually, she answered.

“Hi,” I said. “I’m so sorry. How are you doing?” Pause. Silence.

At some point she asked how I was. I paused. Do I mention my latest work assignment, my holiday plans, my boyfriend woes? It’s what I’d normally talk about, but that seems horribly insensitive right now. I deflected.

Later, I called again.We had a conversation nearly identical to the first. If I was physically there, I could hug, laugh, touch her skin. Over the phone, it’s so removed, so remote. Sometimes she’d snap back quickly, with “normal” jokes and conversation. Other times, she would not stop crying.

Content Originally Published By:Zara Stone @ The Washington Post

Read more: Why I ghosted my grieving friends I wanted to help but didnt know how

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