While I had a stable childhood, as a teen, my parents weren’t emotionally available to me, and I started spending a large amount of my time at my best friend’s house, where her parents treated me with dignity and kindness. They were also friends with my parents—not super-close, but they vacationed together for a weekend once, and never had fights or broke contact. This last year, my dad was in the final stage of a terminal illness, and asked them to come see him again (they had been over to visit in an earlier stage of the illness). They didn’t, and their explanation (in the funeral receiving line) was that doing so “made them too aware of their mortality.” My family had and has no use for this or them, now. I feel the same—I don’t need to maintain a friendship with them, as this disloyalty and lack of love and kindness toward my dad is extremely painful.
Except I still am dear friends with my childhood best friend, and I haven’t told her any of this. And I can’t easily avoid her parents without her eventually knowing why, since there are friend-family events we all get invited to, like birthday parties. I don’t want to put the burden of my boundary toward her parents on her. I hate that it’s there at all. Is it wrong for me to avoid talking to her about it? Should I wait for more time to pass and revisit my decision? I’m not a person who cuts ties with lifelong friendships lightly, but I feel betrayed by the people I once considered family.
—No Excuses in the Receiving Line