Woman can’t un­der­stand why best friend ghosted her 23 years ago

Lodi News-Sentinel - - LOCAL/NATION - AN­NIE LANE “Ask Me Any­thing: A Year of Ad­vice From Dear An­nie” is out now! An­nie Lane’s de­but book — fea­tur­ing fa­vorite col­umns on love, friend­ship, fam­ily and eti­quette — is avail­able as a pa­per­back and e-book. Visit http://www.cre­ator­spub­lish­ing.com for



My so­called

“best friend”

(she was the maid of honor at my wed­ding) ghosted me right af­ter my wed­ding 23 years ago. I have no idea why she quit com­mu­ni­cat­ing, and I’ve pretty much ac­cepted that she will never reach out to me.

I’ve tried, sev­eral times, to reach out to her and never once re­ceived a re­ply. I haven’t tried to con­nect with her for sev­eral years, but I need to know: How do I stop car­ing? This hurt me deeply, and I still miss her. My par­ents called her their third daugh­ter.

We were room­mates in col­lege and apart­ment­mates af­ter col­lege. She in­tro­duced me to my even­tual hus­band — and then si­lence. If I knew why, I might be able to let her go, but I’ve not the slight­est clue.

No­body else — her par­ents, her sis­ter, mu­tual ac­quain­tances — has any idea ei­ther. How do I bind up this wound? — Left Be­hind in Wash­ing­ton

Dear Left Be­hind: I’m sorry that your friend aban­doned you so abruptly. For­tu­nately, clo­sure is a gift we can give our­selves.

I en­cour­age you to write out ev­ery­thing you’d like to say to her — about your con­fu­sion, pain, any­thing you’re feel­ing or have ever felt about the sit­u­a­tion. Pour your heart out on the sub­ject un­til there’s not a drop left.

Then take a beat and a breath. Imag­ine your friend apol­o­giz­ing for hurt­ing you. Then, pick up your pen again and write a let­ter ex­press­ing your for­give­ness. Tuck this let­ter away in a drawer or dis­pose of it some­how — what­ever feels right.

If this doesn’t give you peace af­ter some time, re­peat the writ­ing prompt. At best, it will of­fer you the clo­sure you’re look­ing for. At worst, it will be a ther­a­peu­tic ex­er­cise.

Know that the way your friend­ship ended does not ne­gate all the mean­ing­ful years you two shared to­gether. Not all friend­ships are for­ever; it doesn’t mean that they weren’t for real.

Dear An­nie: I am writ­ing this to you on what is ap­par­ently Na­tional Daugh­ters Day. I wasn’t aware of this hol­i­day, but now I am be­cause moms of daugh­ters are brag­ging and boast­ing all over so­cial me­dia.

My sis­ter-in-law boasted that she prayed for a daugh­ter and got one. Well, I prayed for a daugh­ter, too, af­ter two boys. I have three sons. I love my boys dearly, but I know there’s a spe­cial bond be­tween a mother and daugh­ter. Each of my sons is mar­ried with sons and a daugh­ter. I of­ten say, “I don’t have a daugh­ter, but I have three great daugh­ters-in-law!” And I do, but they don’t shop with me or in­vite me to lunch or the movies. They are in my home of­ten. I babysit for them and at­tend all fam­ily func­tions and ac­tiv­i­ties. (Their moth­ers live out of town.) There is a dif­fer­ence, and the brag­ging and boast­ing from moms with daugh­ters re­ally hurts. — Hurt Mother-in-Law

Dear Hurt: Fol­low­ing the train of thought in your let­ter, it seems the heart of the mat­ter here is you’re feel­ing hurt that your daugh­ters-in-law don’t in­vite you out. Why not in­vite them out? Go­ing to lunch, the movies or other out­ings with your daugh­ters-in-law, one on one or as a group of gals, sounds like a fan­tas­tic idea that sim­ply might not have oc­curred to them yet.

More gen­er­ally, your com­ment raises an im­por­tant topic: Fam­ily-themed hol­i­days can be es­pe­cially painful for peo­ple who have lost a daugh­ter, mother, father or whomever the hol­i­day is cel­e­brat­ing. In such cases, some find it help­ful to com­mem­o­rate the per­son they’ve lost in a spe­cial way on that day — such as by look­ing through old pho­tos, med­i­tat­ing on the love shared, at­tend­ing an event the fam­ily mem­ber would have loved or vol­un­teer­ing for a cause that they sup­ported or that is con­nected to them in some way.

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