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I hate Christmas

Posted by Patricia_Marie
Patricia_Marie
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on Thursday, 11 December 2014
Dear Patricia Marie,
 
I always hate this time of year – Christmas.  My closest friend died in a car accident on Christmas Day five years ago, and every year I am reminded of her and how much I miss her.  She was such a vibrant, happy person and she used to love Christmas. 

I visit her grave every year, put flowers there, and talk to her, and this year I have explained to my boyfriend of nine months that I don’t ‘do’ Christmas, and why.  He seems a bit irritated by this, but has said he will visit the grave with me.  He wanted me to spend the day with his family and children, but I can’t do that.  I have to honour my friend’s memory.
 
Nobody seems to understand.  How can I make them see that I feel it is wrong for me to celebrate this day?

Patricia Marie says...

This time of year brings much sadness to those remembering their loved ones, and the pain is often heightened when others are wanting to celebrate the festivities.

If you can plan Christmas to include remembering your best friend, the day may not seem quite so daunting. Take some comfort from lighting a candle in memory of her - have a photo nearby and tell others of the special times you shared. They will want to be included in your thoughts, rather than feel isolated.

Sometimes we can feel no one understands because we don't open up - so do talk to your family and friends, they care about you and will be conscious of your loss. I suspect your boyfriend is not so much irritated but frustrated by your refusal to enjoy the nice times that you so deserve.

Be grateful for the time you had with your friend and focus on this rather than there absence in your future. Have you considered that she wouldn't be wanting you to be feeling so miserable, or not making the most of the life she can't have. So with this in mind, perhaps you could you try to compromise and enjoy the loved ones that are here with you today.

If at anytime you do feel tearful, that's fine too. Don't be so hard on yourself, look to the future and believe things will get easier.

Over Christmas time professional help and support is just a phone call away. Cruse is an excellent organisation offering bereavement counselling which I feel you could benefit from: www.cruse.org.uk (0844 477 9400) You may also find the below poem resonates with you.

SHE IS GONE

You can shed tears because she has gone,
Or you can smile because she lived,
You can close your eyes and pray that she will come back,
Or you can open your eyes and see all that she has left.
Your heart can be empty because you can't see her,
Or you can be full of the love you shared,
You can turn your back on tomorrow and live yesterday,
Or you can be happy tomorrow because of yesterday.
You can remember her and only that she is gone,
Or you can cherish her memory and let it live on,
You can cry and close your mind, be empty and turn your back,
Or you could do what she would want: smile, open your eyes, love and go on.

By David Harkins



Have a dilemma? Please email Patricia.Marie@lady.co.uk  Please note, while Patricia cannot respond to all emails, she does read them all.


In need of further support? Patricia Marie offers a counselling service in Harley Street, contact details as follows

My friend has stolen my baby names

Posted by Patricia_Marie
Patricia_Marie
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on Thursday, 09 October 2014
Dear Patricia Marie

My best friend and I are both expecting our first born babies, due in November. I told her the name choices I wanted for my baby many weeks ago, and to my horror she has now informed me that she is going to use them herself. I am furious and instead of enjoying our time being pregnant together, I cannot even face seeing her at the moment. How best should I handle this sensitive situation?

Patricia Marie says...

I would never advise upsetting anyone in the final stages of pregnancy, therefore, if you really do find it difficult to let go and need to confront your friend, do so very gently.  Explain how upset and hurt you are and that you trusted her by disclosing such significant personal information. Clearing the air can sometimes ease the tension. Then move on - try to change your negative thoughts to more positive ones. Think of your friend wanting your name choice as a huge compliment. That's a huge vote of confidence to you and your taste. Start to look forward to sharing the precious moments motherhood brings, as well as embracing the support and guidance you can receive from each other once those 'bundles of fun' arrive.

If you really love the name and want to keep it, it really doesn't matter who has used the name or who will in the future. You'll always remember why you chose the name and what it means to you. Finally, take comfort in the fact that anyone who has the creativity to come up with one great name, has the ability to come up with another, and you may just surprise yourself and actually prefer the new name - just make sure to keep that one a secret!


Have a dilemma? Please email Patricia.Marie@lady.co.uk  Please note, while Patricia cannot respond to all emails, she does read them all.


In need of further support? Patricia Marie offers a counselling service in Harley Street, contact details as follows



My friend has let me down

Posted by Patricia_Marie
Patricia_Marie
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on Thursday, 21 August 2014
Dear Patricia Marie,

I've had this friend for years - since we were at college together. And I always thought we'd be there for each other through thick and thin. Three years ago, she went through a messy divorce and I supported her. Then, last year I found out my husband had been cheating on me, and after trying to work through it naturally, I went to my friend for sympathy. But she turned on me, telling me I was dragging her down and asking too much of her. We're still friends, but the closeness has completely gone. Was I wrong to have expected more from her?

Patricia Marie says...

No, you weren't wrong to expect more from your friend at all, but you may have to accept that she wasn't rejecting you when she let you down. Sometimes people can't be how we would like them to be, or act in the way we'd prefer them to. It hurts because it feels personal, almost as if she's decided you don't deserve her help. But in reality, her behaviour is about her, not you.

It sounds like your unhappiness, in a situation so like her own, dramatically brought back her grief and pain.

When we want to offload, we have to take some responsibility. Just because we want to get angry and upset, it doesn't mean our friends are able to deal with us being this way, especially if they have issues they are trying to deal with, which we may be ignoring because we are too focused with what's bothering us. While friends can, and should, be there for us when we need their support, often a professional can give us the care we really need to move on. Perhaps if your friend had gone for counselling as well as asking for your help, she might have been able to put her sadness aside and be there for you - and now not feel so guilty about failing you, which I suspect is what the distance is about.

I believe you may benefit from some counselling yourself to help you move forward with this situation. Hopefully, once you start to feel better you'll be able to forgive her and that closeness will return.

The British association of Counselling and Psychotherapy have a directory where you can find a qualified therapist in your area. www.bacp.co.uk



Have a dilemma? Please email Patricia.Marie@lady.co.uk  Please note, while Patricia cannot respond to all emails, she does read them all.


In need of further support? Patricia Marie offers a counselling service in Harley Street, contact details as follows

I can't cope with my friend's death

Posted by Patricia_Marie
Patricia_Marie
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on Thursday, 05 June 2014
Dear Patricia Marie,

My best friend died a year ago after being in a tragic car accident. At first everyone was supportive and caring, but this was short lived. Now, nobody wants to talk about her, and dismissive of me if I try to speak of my very much missed friend, who understood me like no other. I am feeling so alone at this moment and don't know who to turn to. I have started to have thoughts of suicide which scares me. Would appreciate some help.

Patricia Marie says...

How very sad for you to lose someone so close, I am so sorry. When a close friend dies, it can be extremely painful and difficult to come to terms with. When you say people are dismissive of you wanting to speak, I believe it's because they are not sure what to say. Unfortunately, sometimes those closest to us just aren't capable of dealing with death - wanting to help, just unsure how. Make it clear to them there are times you want to talk about your friend - not wanting them to fix things for you, but just to listen and be there for you.

Even if you get upset, its better to express your feelings, and important to remember the happy times as well as the sad ones.

I am sure if your friend adored you as you did her, she would be upset that you are contemplating suicide. Very sadly she has lost her life, however, you are very much alive, and although you can't see it now, there is much to live for. This is hard to believe when you are in such a dark place, but you don't have to deal with it alone. Please see your G.P about how you are feeling, as he can offer a medical check up and organise some bereavement counselling. Cruse are an excellent organisation offering support for those struggling with grief and loss.  Contact: cruse.org.uk (0844 477 9400) For a comforting read, I recommend  'The Courage To Grieve ' by Judy Tatelbaum.



Have a dilemma? Please email Patricia.Marie@lady.co.uk  Please note, while Patricia cannot respond to all emails, she does read them all.

In need of further support? Patricia Marie offers a counselling service in Harley Street, contact details as follows


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