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I will try to tell this story as accurate as I can and with out emotion.

A friend of my wife and I told me another long time friend and his wife, that live out of state, were coming to a wedding and would spend a few days in out city with he and his wife. I told him that we would like to see them, if my wife was up to it, while they were here. We have not been as active with the out of town friends since my wife as become so ill. I see my friend often and he usually calls every day. He tells me often that he really appreciates his best friend. I am a good listener and he seems to have lots of complaints and problems. He is still working and hates it. I also discuss with him my wife�s health situation and how I am personally dealing with it.

Our friends took a two day trip with our out of town friends and when they returned, my in town friend calls and tells me they are back and what a great time they had and that he is going to cook steaks that night for the out of town friends but they have a small window if we would like to come over for a glass of wine.

That is what my friend said but what I heard was � we have a short amount of time and you can come over and have a glass of wine and see our friends and then go home so we can have dinner�.

I made excuses and did not join them.

I know that because of my wife�s condition our visits are not as much fun as they once were and her illness can detract from a happy party atmosphere. I know that and yet I am surprised that long time good friends can not deal with that for two or three hours every now and then.

This is the first time I have felt excluded by family or friends because of my wife�s condition. I can not thing of any other reason why we were not invited for the evening, which would have normally happened in the past

Is this something others are dealing with and how do you handle it.

More of the story later.

Wishing you peace and happiness where ever you may find it.

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Hi Dave:

I would venture to say that none of us are as much fun as we once were. Once we become care-givers, our perspective changes on life. People who haven't been there don't understand it...

People are uncomfortable with illness. But, looking at this from an another viewpoint, your friends did invite you for a glass of vino. That tells me that they did want your company and did not necessarily choose to exclude you completely.

It may have been the wording of the invitation - the "small window" and all. Plus, the "great time" they had on their vacation etc. It all adds up to feeling excluded in many ways. Let me share a little here too. My niece was married a year ago and, of course I was invited to the wedding... However, the wedding was out of state and, gee, the whole family would be there so who would take care of dad??? My sister had all sorts of suggestions (ha,ha). I could ask a friend perhaps?

Well, needless to say, I could not go... Do you think they thought of how I might feel? Then they came out for their annual vacation and, without a second thought, brought out all the wedding pictures of all my sibling-dearests having a great time. I had to smile and act interested when I was just hurting inside.

The thing is that people don't think. It is all about them and how much they can impress another with their status or their trips. Seldom do they realize that they would impress us more with their consideration, understanding or generosity of spirit...

As you say, there is more to the story which sounds as if it added to the upset... However, in the meantime, how does one handle it? The thing to do is work through your feelings. Journaling helps, posting here for more feedback helps us all... At some point, hopefully, understanding and forgiveness will prevail.

Meanwhile, Dave, spoil yourself a little. Buy yourself something sweet and tell yourself that you are loveable... You have been there for your wife when she needs you most and, for that, you are an angel.

Take Care, Glenda
Dear Dave:
I understand how you are feeling and yes, it would hurt me too. Something similar, but not the same -- when my mom was living with me, I had invited one of her long time friends over for lunch. This is a woman who continued to phone my mom on a weekly basis and I thought it would be nice if they got together and she accepted. I was at work when she was here with my mom and her aide. When I got home, I asked how things went and my mom said it was nice but very short. I looked at her aide and she nodded and I found that very strange since her friend doesn't work. A few weeks later, her friend called and I answered the phone. We talked for a bit and I said something about how much my mom enjoyed her company. She went on to tell me that she is sorry, but she will not be able to visit again. She said that when she saw my mom it was so upsetting to her that she just couldn't face it again. My mom has Alzheimer's and is at a point in the disease where she has very little facial expression. Her balance is not good, but she can walk, but she is unsteady. That is about it as far as "her looks." Honestly, I was stunned and hurt and it took everything for me not to say to her how selfish I thought she was. This is a lifelong friend.
Dave, I will never understand friends and family for that matter that simply turn their backs. Yes, we can say that aging scares them and seeing what happens to the aged is frightening, but how do you do that? How do you turn your back on a loved one or close friend? In your case, I see it as being the same. I have no answers; I wish someone did.
Why o why cannot you look into her face
Weren't you both friends for so very long
I just have to say that you are a disgrace
For what has my mom ever done wrong?

The reason you no longer want to come
is not the same why I prefer it that way
The loaf she knew is now just a crumb
And will soon have the same price to pay.

So go on turn your back with your excuse
My mom is not without the love you lack
I just look at you and think what's the use
Since your heart has been burned black.

Hello Dave,

boy this sure rings a bell for me as well.. when my husband was dying, no friends would come by... hubby was in the entertainment industry.. if friends could have come by and just made him laugh... dad's father and son couldn't look him in the face when he was in his end of life stages...

listening to literally thousands of caregivers here at the site, when I am speaking at conferences etc., I think that simply put people are caught up in their own little worlds.. society today is concerned with youth, masks, competition and most of all denial... most will never connect deeply with a loved one on a soulful, higher level.. there are even family caregivers who cannot cope with the caring.. people are into denial about death and dying... and when confronted with it.. run in the opposite direction..

no other society in the world has so much difficulty when faced with death and dying.. many, many cultutres, especially the indigenous ones, still celebrate life.. and celebrate a loved one's passing with grace...on their return home to the place we all come from.. we haven't been taught to raise our consciousness and elevate our telephathic and soulful gifts to connect with loved ones on a much deeper level...

It hurts but as Glenda put it, we must heal through it all...and I might add, keep reaching out to those who truly undertsand what we are going through so that we can receive support that is so vitally needed for our personal healings...

we are here for you Dave... keep us posted...


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