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Her friendship suffers a sudden death

09/11/2010 12:22 am ET | Updated Nov 17, 2011

QUESTION

Dear Irene,

I have a friend that I felt was my best friend. She was in my wedding and we were pretty much attached at the hip. She called me a couple times a day, texted me, hung out with me or talked to me online (Facebook, AIM) almost every day.

Her grandmother died of cancer almost a year ago now. My husband and I were the only ones out of our mutual friends that were at the funeral and wake with her and her family the whole time. My husband actually was laid off the next day from work because he took the day off to be with her. Ever since then she has shut us out, she hasn't called, text, come over, or talked to me when she is online.

I see her when we go out with mutual friends sometimes and this is when she talks to us as if nothing has happened. She says she's been busy, but she goes out every other day with a couple of our mutual friends. Do you know why all of a sudden she would shut me out? I do not understand how you can get close to someone and then just stop talking to them and then say that you have been too busy when your clearly not to other friends. I would appreciate any kind of advice you can give. Thank you!!

Signed,
Kelly

ANSWER

Dear Kelly,

Yes, this is an odd situation. It sounds like your friend dropped you like a hot potato so something must have happened that upset her. Have you explicitly asked her privately, when you're not with other friends, if you did something to offend her?

Another thought: Did you tell her that your husband lost his job because he took off from work to attend the funeral? If so, I could see how that might have upset her. It is unfortunate that it happened but it was his decision to attend and be with her and you, not hers.

You are absolutely correct in thinking there is something you don't know. The only way to find out is to ask. Otherwise, you will likely remain as distant as you are now.

Hope this helps.

My best,
Irene

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Irene S. Levine, PhD is a freelance journalist and author. She holds an appointment as a professor of psychiatry at the New York University School of Medicine. Her recent book about female friendships, Best Friends Forever: Surviving a Breakup with Your Best Friend, was published by Overlook Press. She also blogs about female friendships at The Friendship Blog and at PsychologyToday.com.