Just Felt the Need .......

teaka123December 6, 2007

Tuesday evening the mother of a girl on my daughterÂs basketball team passed away unexpectedly. Yesterday I spoke with another parent who knew her well and offered to do anything I could to help. Today I find out that the team members and their parents and the coach got together last night at a parentÂs home and that neither my daughter nor I were included.

My daughter found out about it at school today and was very hurt. At first two of her friends tried to keep the fact that they had met a secret from her so as not to hurt her feelings, but it wasnÂt done very well. One of them ended up telling her she was not included because the girl who lost her mother no longer liked her. They did not want to include her thinking it would upset the girl who lost her mother. These girls are all seniors in high school. My daughter has not had any disagreement with the girl and is hurt and confused on why she was singled out to be excluded. She feels horrible that someone she has been good friends with in the past has lost her mother and she feels terrible because she liked the girlÂs mother very much. My daughter is hurt and very upset that the girl apparently dislikes her so much that whoever organized the gathering felt my daughterÂs presence would be upsetting. She understands and believes everyone should rally behind and be as supportive as possible for the girl, but it is hard to deal with wanting to be supportive too and instead being excluded. She is concerned over practices and such. I must say we are both confused and saddened we like each member of the family and only said good things, because we felt that way. I plan on handling things just the way I would have if I didnÂt know about the gathering, etc. IÂll make them dinner, send a card to the family, send a note to the girl and attend the funeral. My daughter will do the same, write a note to her friend, make cookies and attend the funeral. WeÂve been fortunate in the past and really havenÂt had much of the typical "girl drama", but IÂm so dismayed that we would end up having some now under such sad circumstances. I know IÂm mom, but my daughter is a sweet girl and this all makes sad.

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You know in the whole scheme of things going on, your problem seems so minor, but nonetheless I know it would bother me too.

Unless there was some big time feud (which it doesn't sound like there was), I don't see how/why the others would take it upon themselves to exclude you. Would the daughter herself with everything else going on really have asked that your daughter not be included? And what kind of person would even have the nerve to tell your daughter the reason even if it were the case? I'm thinking maybe something else is going on. Is there anyone on the team that you could trust to ask for a real answer? Maybe someone doesn't like you. Maybe your duaghter took the girls starting position...

I too would do what you were planning on doing on your own. Granted, if you find out that your daughter really would bring such sadness to the girl who lost her mother then maybe it would be best to stay away. Could there have been a boy involved that caused some big time resentment between the girls?

    Bookmark   December 6, 2007 at 11:53PM
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Thank you for your response. All the issues you raised are valid ones. Absolutely, this is minor in the grand scheme of things. It is just hard to want to reach out to a friend and be told not to. This is a girl that has been to our home many times and gone with us to our cabin, etc. My daughter and her/their friends got together last night. They said it was a group (?) decision not to include my daughter in the team gathering. They felt that the girl is always pretty emotional, but she is very emotional charged right now, understandably. They said there is no specific reason the girl has given for not liking my daughter. The best I can come up with is that sometimes for whatever reason friends fall in & out of favor with one another and it is just unfortunate that this is all happening at such a tragic time. It could be that if my daughter was there it all would have simply blown over. I think that their intentions were good, but misguided. My daughter did request that they tell her that she wasnÂt at the gathering because she wasnÂt given the choice. That when they didnÂt include her they took her choice away and she would have liked to have come. She told them that they owe her that. They agreed, but will see. One of the girls asked if she was coming to the funeral and she said yes, she has always liked the mom and said the funeral was for her and she would be going. She will also write the friend a note and make cookies for the family. It is somewhat of a damned if you do dammed if you donÂt situation, but certainly better to do. No boy involved. Age, aside my daughter has always shown remarkable people skills. IÂm so sorry the family has to go through this. Having just lost my brother a month ago after a very brief illness I understand the pain. The idea of someone so young losing their Mama is heart wrenching for us. Thank you again for your response and understanding.

    Bookmark   December 7, 2007 at 12:56PM
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"I plan on handling things just the way I would have if I didnÂt know about the gathering, etc. IÂll make them dinner, send a card to the family, send a note to the girl and attend the funeral. My daughter will do the same, write a note to her friend, make cookies and attend the funeral. "

I would just send cards, you and your daughter should each send one. I would even think twice about attending the funeral and/or wake.

And leave it at that.

Forget the dinner/cookies thing... that is overboard considering their feelings for you. Making them dinner or cookies is not going to make them like you, or make the other members of the team think you are great, if that is what you are angling for.

Just blow it off and tell your daughter to best forget it. Hopefully these people will one day realize how crass and silly they all were. Even though I feel sorry for her daughter losing her Mom.

Good luck!!

    Bookmark   December 7, 2007 at 1:55PM
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Emphasise, to your daughter, that she is a good person. She can continue being a good person by writing a note to her friend, offering her condolences.

People can be very emotional in these circumstances, including the people who are trying to help. I would not take to heart all that has been said.

Time will heal. One day the girl will think about your daughter and realize she has a friend.

    Bookmark   December 7, 2007 at 4:05PM
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I think cards with a hand written note from both of you would be very comforting to the family. By all means do attend the wake and the funeral. Offer your condolences to the family, it's the right thing to do. Sending over a dish/cookies after the funeral is a very nice gesture. You are correct to act like the gathering never happened. NancyLouise

    Bookmark   December 10, 2007 at 12:20PM
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My husband was hurt badly two years ago, and we were very afraid we would lose him. At the time my son was a high school junior, and my daughter was a 7th grader. So although we didn't deal with a death, my kids did go through a very difficult traumatic time.

Attend the wake and the funeral, bake the cookies, send the card. Warn your daughter to cut the teammate some slack if she's not warm and friendly. My son had had a falling-out with a longtime friend, and that friend made a special effort to speak to my son after his dad's accident. The friend's mom told me later that my son just "looked like a zombie and looked right through him". My son doesn't even remember his old friend speaking to him at all. My son told me he didn't see lots of things going on around him, he just walked numbly through the days.

If your daughter wants to mend the friendship, suggest that she send another note or card in a few months, when the shock has worn off. I am so very sorry your daughter was excluded, and I know it hurts.

My children reacted very differently. My son would have put petty squabbles completely aside, I think. My daughter didn't want people to treat her any differently - she wanted the kids who didn't like her to just keep on keepin' on, the ones who did to be their normal selves. She craved normalcy.

But neither of my kids was ready for support from anyone besides their nearest and dearest for awhile. Once the shock wore off, then they appreciated the kindness of others. But they were just too numb at first.

Do encourage your daughter to reach out later. Families are inundated with support at first, but it drops off.

Remind your daughter that her teammate may not appreciate her gesture until many years later, but one day she will.

You are a wonderful mother for teaching your daughter to do the right thing, even when others don't.

    Bookmark   December 10, 2007 at 7:22PM
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I too think that you and your daughter should go to the funeral, sign the guest book, and send a nice card.

By not attending, I think you will regret doing so. This sounds like one of those situations where these girls made a foolish assumption, as school girls sometimes do, and may never own up to it. I think by staying away, it may become a bigger problem, and give the other girls something to talk negatively about your daughter.

Do the right thing with your daughter by attending the funeral. I do not think that you will regret it, but I imagine over time, you will regret staying away.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2007 at 10:21AM
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