BG: My friend Sue's mother was very very ill, in hospital for the past couple of months. I know Sue quite well, and knew that she was stressed out to the max over this. Everyone knew. She'd post openly on Facebook about the latest happenings, express her sadness, and lately, asked openly for help in one big task that she was too overwhelmed to handle herself. A community of mutual friends, including myself, pitched in to help. This was only about two weeks ago. She's also been sending me the odd PM to say that things were getting worse. She knows I am also dealing with elderly parent issues, and I have been suggesting trying to come over and keep her company. We have commiserated on such things in the recent past. She agreed but both of our schedules were hectic and it hasn't happened yet. On Monday, I was going to go over there but something came up with my father and I couldn't go. She said "soon" and we left it at that.[end BG]
On Tuesday, Sue's mother died. I only know this because a mutual friend, Cathy, was going to go visit her and Sue texted her to say her mother had died. Cathy told me, but told me not to say anything because it was Sue's news to share, not Cathy's. I agreed and said nothing.
Now, several days have passed and I have heard nothing. I want to offer Sue my condolences, but officially I haven't been told yet, and Cathy is adamant that I must not reveal that she told. I am sure Sue is overwhelmed and the first thing on her mind is definitely not, "I must inform Raintree." Sue knows that I am much closer to Cathy than she is and my feeling is that she would probably assume if she told Cathy, Cathy would automatically have told me. I know Sue well enough; she is not the type to be very private about such things, or get angry about the sharing of that kind of info among friends, while Cathy has always had some extreme (and IMO odd) issues surrounding privacy, and I believe she projects her own issues onto others.
Back to the background: I mentioned I had been trying to get together with Sue for a while, while her mother was still alive, to keep her company and support her. And now it just feels weird to me, knowing what I know, to just say, "So! How are things? Want to get together?" And now I find myself waiting in silence and I feel really horrible for saying nothing at all! Or for being a horrible friend who was going to come over but suddenly drops out of the picture.
I guess since Cathy swore me to secrecy, I'll say nothing in order not to get Cathy mad at me, but I want to know what other e-hellions think. If Cathy hadn't sworn me to secrecy, would it have been a terrible faux-pas to PM Sue and say, "I heard about your mother and I'm sorry for your loss. Would you like me to bring over some dinner?"