Firstly this is not something I am implying to be directed at my friends. This post has been sparked by something that happened, but it was that contact which set me thinking about this. So don't feel 'to blame' about it if you happen to reconcile with it.
Even more strange is that when I do have reason to contact them they say something like "we've been thinking about you but didn't want to say anything to you because it seems so useless".
Its uncanny how similar this is among people I know.
So as advice to people who man know somone who is grieving in the future: don't be afraid to contact them. That is my purpose here. I want to give some advice to those around the grieving person. Grieving is not infectious.
Even if its just a quick hello. People aren't telepathic, and may actually feel isolated rather than be sitting around feeling like "oh yes, all my friends are thinking of me".
Of course be prepared for a little difficulty from the other end. When you ask "how are you going" don't be surprised if you don't get the usual supermarket answer of "oh fine, been having fun ... and you?". But it won't be painful (well unless you are so shallow, in which case probably better to keep to your self).
The thing is that friends contacting you occasionally is not useless. Sure you can't do something physical, but emotional support (even just listening) is actually really helpful. Christmas cards for example don't really do anything either, but you still send them to your friends right?
To my friends who keep in touch I want you to know how much it means to me, even if I do sound like shit warmed up and drone on about the same issues. To the others who have claimed to be my friends, the lack of contact says a lot to me.