ex-friend died, what should I do?

Paul and I were friends since Elementary school (Im 33 now) we haven’t spoken
in 4 or 5 years, when we had a falling out. We did run into each other once, and
we were both polite “how are you” “how are you doing” etc… I recently heard
he passed away. I did not find out soon enough to attend his funeral, so now
slightly over a month after his passing should I try to express my condolences to
his mother and family or should I leave well enough alone?


IMHO I would at least send a card to the family. Having been through my brother’s death, it was still nice when my mom rec’d letters, etc., long after the fact. Some people find out much later. You must have had some good memories of your times with your old friend.

I had a similar situation more than 10 years ago when my best friend from high school died a few years after graduation. We hadn’t spoken since high school because of a falling out.

Send a note or card as soon as you can. I never did and it’s bugged me ever since.

Another vote for sending a note of sympathy. All you have to write is some version of “I’m sorry for your loss” and perhaps a story remembering your friend from when you were getting along. The family will appreciate it and you won’t regret it.

You were friends with this person once, so surely he had some good qualities, and his family will miss him. Just because you had fallen out with him does not mean that he does not deserve to be mourned.

Send the note. Regardless of the falling out, he is still an important part of your history, and his parents will really appreciate it.

This isn’t opinion, it’s real. I was friends witha guy for 8 years. (Both of us straight, and maybe considered best friends) so nothing weird going on. I was Best Man at his wedding, was there when his Dad died and he was there when my Dad died. My Mom loved him. His wife somehow got to him (I’ll explain in the Pit sometime) but the point is my Mom died of the same kind of cancer, so the animosity was put on hold. He still wants to kill me, but luckily he he isn’t the type, and the size dictates he won’t try anything. But a freak chance pitting us against each other at a Blackjack table broght out this conversation.

He: My wife told me your Mom died.

Me: Yeah. (2 weeks into grieving, no need to pour my heart out)

He: Anything we can do?

Me: Yeah, remember we’ve been friends for 8 years and try to remember I’d never do anything to ruin the friendship. Especially by doing anything to the woman you met in a town I drove you 200 miles to meet. She’s your wife, I can’t tell you why she wants to start problems.

(Thinks maybe I’m being played)

He: (trying to be civil, gotta give him that) Can we do anything?

Me: (Thinking yeah, put her on Ritalin so we can be friends again) My mom would prefer you donate to her favorite charity.

Did he? Don’t know, but I know he liked my Mom, and he was at least trying to show that he was paying attention to the charity I was telling him.

FWIW, as I write this I’m 30 y/o so I’m not talking about pre-teen concern. It’s a real life encounter, and I’ve heard he actually made a donation.

Sometimes, people will do the right thing even if they don’t like you. I hate to give him acknowledgement, but he seems to have done the right thing.

And if he lied about it, well…