The parent of a good friend of mine died very suddenly. We live on opposite sides of the country, and aren't in regular contact. A mutual friend of our's texted me to let me know what had happened. This mutual friend is an extremely organised person, is always on top of things, plans most things that we ever do - down to a tee - and basically just tends to take control of everything. I asked her to let me know when the funeral plans had been arranged, and she replied straight away and said she would, leaving me feel safe in the feeling that I would be informed in good time.
Four days later, I still hadn't heard from the mutual friend. And so I was just assuming that, because of the sudden nature of the death (the person was relatively young), that this is what was causing the delay in funeral arrangements - postmortem, etc. To me, it was simply unthinkable that this mutual friend of ours would not be completely and totally organised - it just has never been in her nature to not be - and therefore it never dawned on me that she - shock horror - may have forgotten to contact me.
Well, it turned out that she had in fact forgotten. The funeral took place four days after the death (yesterday.) I found out after checking death notices online last night.
I fully take the blame for this - I should have been checking the death notices every day to check for the funeral arrangements. I made a stupid error. The reason why I explained about our mutual friend and how organised she is was to show that my absence from the funeral was a genuine and honest mistake, and not out of a lack of caring for our bereaved friend.
I wanted so badly for her to have me (a friend) there at the funeral, so that she could see she was cared for. And yet I made such a silly mistake in the process, meaning I wasn't there.
I don't want my bereaved friend to feel uncared for. But I don't want to bother her when she's trying to deal with this loss - so I'm reluctant to send an explanatory text - I don't want her to have the extra burden of trying to reassure me that she's not upset with me.
Therefore, I don't know which is the appropriate thing to do now. Should I text her and tell her that I wanted to be there so badly but due to an error on my part I unfortunately missed it? Or should I just leave her to get on with grieving for the moment?
I'm not sure what I'd personally want in that situation, so if any of you have been bereaved by a parent, I'd really appreciate your opinion. I want to know what's best for my bereaved friend - I'm not asking what's the best way to "get myself out of" the situation.
When my mam died suddenly 2 years ago one of my friends didnt go the funeral. He had said he would but he explained that his alarm just hadnt gone off and he was really sorry. Most people know that you being there wasnt a malicious or lazy act but a genuine mistake, and at a time like this I really dont think your friend will hold it against you. If I were you I'd call them and let them know what happened and then maybe visit them if you can, but I'm sure they'll appreciate you explaining at least.
It's ok, genuine mistake, I'm sure your friend will understand.
However I wouldn't text her. Give her a call, she might wanna chat, and if she doesn't it'll be apparent pretty soon. It's just a bit more friendly than a text and she'll appreciate it a bit more.
I would send a sympathy card and short note of explanation along with my condolences. I would also follow that by a call about a week from now. I remember that for about a week someone was always with me but things were all a haze. Later when everyone had gone and the fog had lifted I needed someone to talk to most.
Phone your friend, dont text. Dont worry about bothering her you wont be. when my baby son died a few of my close friends did not call me and later explined they did not want to be bothering me. yet i took great comfort from those that did call.
just call and expain you missed the funeral by mistake but that you are thinking of her and her family.
Thank you all so much for your advice. Some really good advice there. I will let you know how it goes.
OP, I think as someone suggested, send her a card and give a call then in a week or so. I think it's great that you care as you do, and it will mean a lot to your friend. I had the experience of someone I'd have considered a good friend, not coming to my Dad's funeral, not being there for me at all. She lives in the same town as me and knew the arrangements. Never got any explanation or apology. That was over a year ago now, and tbh the friendship has faded. It's at times like that you find out who you're true friends are, that's for sure. I think from reading your post it's obvious you care, and you didn't do it intentionally. Good luck
As it was a sudden death, I would go with Deki's idea of sending a sympathy card - and apologise in that, followed up by a phone call - perhaps mention in the card that you are going to call, or that you would like to come and see them and will phone etc.
Many people after death do not like to take calls, then again many do appreciate people putting themselves out there, so it's hard to know which way it will go in your situation. Mistakes are mistakes, and I would hope, being a good friend of yours, that it will not cause any drift between you... best of luck.
In my own view, remembering in a years time, two years time, five years time to ask how your friend is coping with the loss, and how they are getting on, and remembering their parent with them, is a lot more valuable than showing up at the funeral.