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    Ethical question

    Not sure if ethical is the right word, maybe more of a personal dilemma. It's kind of a long story so bear with me.

    Several years ago my Dh and I had friends we'll call them Don and Cathy. DH and Don had known each other for over 30 years, more of a friend of a friend thing. Don married Cathy and we became fairly close friends. Cathy had a very loud personality and definitely said anything and everything on her mind. She was very friendly and would do anything for you. She was the type of person either you really liked or couldn't stand.

    Our kids were teenagers, early 20's during this time we were friends. During our oldest daughter's college graduation party, Cathy comes up and slaps my middle daughter's (age 19) back which was badly sunburned. She could easily see the sunburn and did it on purpose. My daughter asked her two times to stop but she continued to slap it thinking it was funny. Finally my daughter told her "If you slap my sunburn again, I'm going to slap you." Well, of course she did it again and my daughter slapped her in the face. She took major offense to my daughter slapping her and made a huge deal of it during the graduation party. Cathy wanted me to take sides and make my daughter apologize. I refused telling her it was between her and my daughter. My daughter did end up apologizing that day, but a more general apology, not directly for the slap, if that makes sense.

    Our friendship wasn't the same after that. I honestly felt she deserved to get slapped(and finally told her that) and she felt she hadn't done anything wrong. Over the next several weeks she made lots of snide comments regarding the matter. I finally told her I was done discussing the matter, it was something we would never agree on and to please let it go. It didn't end. Every time we saw them she would find a way to get a nasty comment in and laugh it off so finally several months after the initial incident, I was done and told her I needed to end the friendship. She was very upset and from what I hear when into a depression. This was approximately 2 years ago and I haven't talked to her since. I have thought about her during that time and somewhat miss the friendship we had before everything happened. As a side note, my sister and my best friend never did like her (which tells me something). There were other small things that happened, but I didn't let them bother me because we were friends, I considered them a quirk of her personality. My DH and Don talked for a while afterwards, but their friendship fizzled after a couple of months. My DH made no effort but would be happy to talk to Don when he called.

    I'm finally getting to my problem. Several months ago I heard she had cancer, thought about reaching out to her, but everyone advised against it. Yesterday I heard it's terminal, they are giving her 2 months to a year. I can't decide if I should try to reach out to her or not. I know I don't want to become friends again, because even sick I'm afraid she would cause drama. But I feel like a horrible person if I don't even acknowledge that I know she's sick. My family and friends say I should not contact her. To be honest I wonder if I just feel guilty for some reason and that's why I think I should. But I'm not sure what I feel guilty about. I think part of me is hoping if I connect with her she'll will finally admit she shouldn't have slapped my daughter's sunburn! Then I feel awful for still even being upset over something that happened so long ago.

    If you managed to make it through, thank you and any ideas/opinions?
    Lori

    http://sewtimeforme.blogspot.com/

    #2
    Re: Ethical question

    Amazing what causes relationships to thrive and exist and then sometimes die out. I think "Cathy" erred and the relationship probably was never really good anyway. Since "don" and your husband were the ones who were the friends and you became friends with her as a couple, then DH could reach out to Don with his sympathy for the two of you. You don't need drama...so let it go...I know its hard...Don will need support after the fact and you can offer that at a later time...just don't bring up past drama.
    I remember once during a political drama of the 90's...two of my close neighbors (and friends) were talking and I casually said that I didn't care what a man did on his own time but I couldn't abide him shaking his finger at me on the TV and lying to me. You know, they couldn't forgive me for that statement and I couldn't give up my principles. They are still my closest neighbors, but neither of them have spoken to me in 20 years. I had become a realtor and they blamed me for inflating the prices of land. (singlehandedly , lol) I discovered then that I wasn't a bleeding heart and I moved on.
    I realize my story is not relevant to the cancer but, I just wanted you to know that even though we think of folks, sometimes it is better to not mingle. You can be sad for her illness, but nothing will change it. You are still feeling pain that she would hurt your daughter and try to make you take sides. You took your side and it was the right choice. Your daughter is the most important person in your life and she will always be there for you. AND, it was HER day that day. (graduation) Your acquaintance was jealous of your relationship and was trying to hurt you. Let it go.
    Walk in peace with the Lord by your side.
    Terry

    Comment


      #3
      Re: Ethical question

      Your family and friends are right, and you need to step off the guilt train, since none of this was your fault. I feel you WILL be in for a whole world of recrimination from her if you try to be nice.

      Comment


        #4
        Re: Ethical question

        I think it's awfully strange she was semi abusing your daughter and wouldn't stop when asked. I think I would send some flowers and a carefully written note, not about your friendship, but sorry for what she is going through. It will lift your guilt and you can move on.
        🌺 Lorie

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          #5
          Re: Ethical question

          There are some people that are just toxic to have in our lives. I had someone in my life who, after many years of friendship, is now just an acquaintance. I wish them no ill will, nor am I angry, but I realize that this person was not someone who should be in my life. That's wisdom. We, as mama bears, always feel guilty when we can't 'FIX' something - especially relationships.
          I agree with Terry, let your hubby take the lead on this one and reach out to the husband, offering support to both.

          Comment


            #6
            Re: Ethical question

            Lori,
            You are so kind-hearted. My recommendation is this - Wish her well, pray for her (if you want) and send her a card/note or a gift basket if you so desire. You don't have to reconnect with her to wish her well.
            Save your sanity.
            Hugs,
            Preeti.
            Preeti
            http://sewpreetiquilts.blogspot.com/

            Comment


              #7
              Re: Ethical question

              Hey. Lori.....

              I have learned in the past two years that very close friends I had for more than twenty years have become non-existent just because of distance and "out of sight/out of mind", too busy....who knows what the legitimate reasoning is?

              You could send a card, flowers, even throw together a small quilt or created gift you made with all your heart. Unfortunately, some people do not see how precious and little time is guarateed from day to day....since your former friend hasn't reached out to make amends? Let you hubby offer the empathy until it is somewhat an essence your former friend realizes what your friendship meant to you both. Then, reach out to her......let God lead your heart. sweetie!
              Sherri

              "Don't let someone else's ugly spoil your beautiful. " Thanks, Bubby!!!!!!

              Comment


                #8
                Re: Ethical question

                Hmmm, I see it from the other side. If I knew I was dying I would love to
                hear from old friends. Maybe just a note saying you are praying for her.
                You don't have to start a new friendship, but compassion is always a good thing.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Re: Ethical question

                  I agree with Hulamoon. If you want to send flowers or even a card just be careful how you word things. Just let her know you are thinking of her during this time. Don't open it up to anything else. You are in the right and if your family felt that way about her then you should read into that. You were right to defend your daughter. Good luck.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Re: Ethical question

                    Originally posted by Hulamoon View Post
                    I think it's awfully strange she was semi abusing your daughter and wouldn't stop when asked. I think I would send some flowers and a carefully written note, not about your friendship, but sorry for what she is going through. It will lift your guilt and you can move on.
                    I think Hulamoon offers very sage advice.
                    Stash Treasure Acquisitions Beyond Life Expectancy. My stash keeps me STABLE, oh yeah.... and dark chocolate.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Re: Ethical question

                      Yes, do send a card. It is never wrong to offer compassion and do something kind for someone when it is in your power to do so. Many years ago, my in-laws lost some friends over the fact that my FIL could not bring himself to acknowledge or deal with my MIL's alcoholism. When my MIL died, the friends wrote my FIL a lovely letter saying that they had never stopped loving or praying for my in-laws. It touched my FIL deeply, and really healed a great hurt.

                      I would not wait for your former friend to pass; write the note now, while she can appreciate it. Then you can rest easy, knowing that you stood up for what was right regarding your daughter, but did not allow that to cut off your ability to be the kind and compassionate person you truly are.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Re: Ethical question

                        I am another vote for Hulamoon's advice. You are a good person. It will make your heart feel good to acknowledge her illness. You were super right to defend your daughter. I am not as nice, I would have asked her to leave the party.
                        Karen
                        Life is short - Live everyday to the fullest

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Re: Ethical question

                          Whenever I am at a loss at what to do, I remind myself to do the right thing that my heart says to do. Then you can rest assured that you did the right thing, even if it is hard to do. I would send a card or flowers if that is what you choose. Just let her know you are sad about the now and don't even bring up anything else. Keep it short and sweet. If it progresses past that, you can cut it short or be busy or whatever.....not pursuing a friendship or relationship.....just aknowledge a past one.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Re: Ethical question

                            I would send a "thinking of you" card and let it go at that, don't bring up the past. Even if she doesn't appreciate it, it may mean a great deal to her husband.
                            “What we do for ourselves dies with us. What we do for others and the world, is and remains immortal.”

                            ― Albert Pine

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Re: Ethical question

                              Hulamoon has wonderful advice. Send a card/flowers to let her know you are sorry for what she is experiencing. Both of you will feel better.
                              A day patched with quilting Seldom unravels Sharon

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