In the early days of high school, my BFF and I at the time were inseparable. When we weren't together, we were phoning each other. Every weekend we slept over each other's house. I'm pretty sure that our friends thought of us as a collective unit, because one of us was rarely seen without the other. Through our friendship, our mothers became good friends too.
Then one day my friend and her mother moved away from Perth. I was devastated. My friend and I wrote back and forth after that, but eventually our correspondence became less and less. She was making new friends, as was I. Our worlds were different. I remember seeing her once on a visit to Perth (I think), and I felt sad that we didn't have the friendship we once had. It didn't feel the same.
Years later, she returned to live in Perth. I worked not far from her house, so I would visit during my lunch break some days. However, we never really did resurrect our original friendship. As time went on, we lost touch again.
Many years later, after my move to Sydney with Mr A, we caught up again during one of my return visits. I was keen to keep in touch, but after I returned to Sydney, and in spite of a few text messages back and forth after that, the renewed contact never really gained momentum.
You know how you have friendships that you never really forget, because you have fond memories of them? Those people remind you of a simpler time - a good time in your life? That's how it was for me and my old friend. So, when my dear mum died last year, and my sister and I were phoning those people we knew would want to hear about Mum's passing, I called my old friend. I got her voicemail, so I left her a message saying that Mum had died, and perhaps her mum would be keen to know, as they had always kept in contact (at Christmastime, at least). I told her the funeral was the following week if she was around and would like to attend. That the details would be in the paper. That I'd love to see her if she could make it.
I figured my friend would want to know, as my Mum was probably like another mother to her back in the day, as hers was to me. Quite a few of my friends have always held my parents in high regard, because my parents were always very welcoming to them. A number of them attended the funeral, and I assumed my friend would be keen to pay her last respects too, or, at least, call with/text me her condolences.
After the phone call though, I never heard back from my friend. In actual fact, I was so consumed with dealing with everything at the time, I didn't really think about the fact she hadn't contacted me or attended the funeral until well after the funeral had taken place. I wasn't upset that she wasn't there - I have no idea about her day-to-day movements, and for all I know, she may not have even been in Perth at the time - but it did seem strange to me that I didn't even receive a text message in reply to my voicemail. No, 'Sorry to hear about your Mum.' Nothing.
I'm not upset or angry with her, but I am really, truly disappointed. We have such a history together - like I said, we were very close back in the day - that I can't imagine why she wouldn't contact me. Even people who don't know me all that well, who certainly wouldn't know me like my old friend used to and, in fact, had never even met my mother managed to text me during that awful time between Mum's death and the funeral. Afterwards, too. Not once either, but multiple times.
I've tried to make excuses for my old friend (maybe she didn't get my message?) but it seems highly unlikely she didn't receive my voicemail. It was definitely her on the end of that phone asking me to leave a message and I definitely left one. Unless she lost her phone that very afternoon, I can't really think of any reason why she wouldn't/couldn't, at the very least, text me back. If not at first, by now. (She's had almost four months to do so.) All I know is that, if the situation were reversed, there's no way I wouldn't have contacted her.
Why people do the things they do (or don't do) I feel certain will always confuse me. I'm sure I'll continue to be disappointed by people I thought I could rely on even in a small way. One thing's for sure though - life's events have a way of showing you who is, and isn't, worth your time.