My cousin and I had been best friends since we were little girls. As we grew our bond became closer. She was my college roommate, and later my maid of honor. We lived close to each other and hung out constantly. Five years ago, when I was 28, I was diagnosed with cancer. I had Hodgkin’s lymphoma and spent two years undergoing chemo, radiation, and a stem cell transplant that put me in the hospital for months. During this low point in my life, she disappeared. No calls. No emails. No texts. No visits. No flowers. Nothing. I know her so well that I understood she just didn’t know how to deal with this, but her absence was the hardest part of my cancer experience. I am now cancer-free, and she has had a child and gotten married. My mother pressured me to attend my cousin’s baby shower, but I gave an impersonal gift card and left as soon as I could. I was invited to the wedding, but didn’t attend. I just can’t pretend nothing happened. As the years pass, however, my family sees me as the one causing the rift because of my refusal to make nice with her. I have to endure long updates from my mother about her life, I listen as my sister tells me that my cousin really wants to know how I am. I don’t want to hear anything about her life unless it is from her. I miss her terribly, but unless I hear a heartfelt apology from her, I don’t see how a relationship can be possible. Am I right or wrong?
—Cured but Hurting