Dear Carolyn: Two weeks ago my husband’s 33-year-old best friend died of covid-19. We’ve been coping best we can, and yesterday attended a small funeral. In advance of attending, I had spoken to my three best friends about my sadness over this extremely unexpected loss, and overall the hard time I’ve been having. I was really surprised yesterday when not one of these three reached out to say they were thinking of me.

I’ve really prided myself in checking in with my friends when they are going through hard times, no matter what I have on my plate. I’m so sad to think they were not thinking of me. I wanted to write them a message and say, what the hell? You guys hurt my feelings! But the other part of me is still so offended that I just want to sit in my own unhappiness for a few days. What should I do? How can I feel better about this?

— Forgotten

Forgotten: Wow that’s horrifying. 33. I am so sorry.

Don't write a message, not yet. This was yesterday — you have a lot of raw grief to get through. It is totally normal for rage and anguish over the thing you can't control to redirect itself subconsciously to something you can. So, rage and grief over a friend who died becomes rage and grief at friends who let you down.

Yes, they did let you down, tremendously. I’m not suggesting otherwise — I’m noting instead that your feelings might be out of proportion to the offense because of how overwhelming grief can be.

As for the way they let you down: Is it possible they didn't know yesterday was the day, or could have lost track of it in the two weeks since your friend's death?

Once you’ve sorted this out, yes, do let your friends know you’re upset. Pick the one you’re closest to, though, and say it one-on-one. Again, talking vs. writing, if feasible. “I am wrecked about the funeral. It was awful. And on top of that, no one called me or checked in. I am sad on top of sad.” If friends did forget/lose track, then they’ll likely do whatever they can to see you’re made whole.

It also might be they're not as supportive as you thought, but I hope it won't come to that. Most people with a shred of decency will apologize themselves inside-out for not being there when you needed them.

Again, I am so sorry for your loss.

Readers' thoughts:

· Yes, this is a letdown, yet I hope you can forgive your friends while telling them you were hurt. I think people find it difficult to remember timing for things like this. The only reason I do relatively well remembering to check in like this is by immediately making a reminder.

· I understand you are hurt, but you never know what is going on with others. It is okay to share your feelings but be careful how you do it.

· I am great at this for obvious connections, but I’m not good at extrapolating. For your husband’s friend’s death, I might not think to check in on you. This could be especially true if your friends don’t have experience navigating loss.