Has my friend lied to me about the death of her sister?
About a year ago I became friends with a girl and we became close quite quickly. For the purpose of this post let’s call her Emma
I first met Emma when she started working for the bar my boyfriend owned. She came to the city I lived in for university and was looking for a part time job, i got on with Emma well and we had things in common. She soon became a value member of the team and a close a friend and started seeing each other outside of work.
I found out Emma’s younger sister had cancer when she text my boyfriend to ask if she could go home early as her sister was really unwell and she wasn’t okay to work. When I heard the news I quickly rang emma and this is when she told me the doctors think her sister cancers came back. Emma said her sister had cancer when she was a lot younger and because it was past the 5 year mark they thought it wouldn’t return or would be very unlikely. Emma couldn’t give much details about her sister at the time and was very vague but she was in a different city to her family and the news had only just been told so I didn’t think much of it.
From here emma never really spoke much more about her sister or how she was doing but I’d check in with her about it every now and again and again emma was very vague about the situation. I soon found out she didn’t have a very good relationship with her parents and was brought up mostly by her auntie so I assumed maybe this was why she didn’t know a lot because maybe they kept her out the loop.
Me and my boyfriend who Emma worked for spilt up and I moved 60 miles away back to my mums until I found somewhere to live
me and my now ex still had a really good relationship as friends and we’re still a massive part of each other’s lives. I knew Emma was going though a hard time with her sister and other various things in her life and I felt bad for not being there. I asked my ex to keep an eye on her as she was still working for him, they soon started seeing each other out of work too which is fine because Emma is now our mutual friend and I was happy she still had someone when I wasn’t there.
Fast forward to this week I get a call from my ex at about 11:30pm to say that he’s got a text from emma asking if she can finish her shift and leave as she needs to FaceTime her sister because she’s not going to make it through the night. I texted emma straight away to see if she’s okay. She said her sister is in a bad way and not going to make it, she said it must have been worse than they thought and she went into hospital that day and ended up going into cardiac arrest the doctors have told her she won’t make it through the night. I am filled with sadness for emma because you can’t meet a nicer more genuine person that her, she would bend over backwards for anyone. I offer support and let her know I’m there. Me and my ex rally round to see if there is anyone who can take Emma back home about 70 miles away so she can go to the hospital and say goodbye to her sister in person, Emma tells us she can’t go and the doctors have told her she’s not allowed to visit. I think this is odd but leave it. Emma informs me she’s FaceTimed her sister and said goodbye and she was now going to speak to some other family. Emma said she will let me know when it happens
About a hour later i get a text to say she has now passed. I can’t imagine at the point how she must be feeling and offer to drive to come and see her the next day. Emma says yes she’d love to see me. Quickly followed by a text asking me not to tell anyone (as we have some mutual friends) and she only wants me and my ex to know, I confirm t that’s okay and tell her to get some rest.
The following day I drive 60 miles to see Emma and I don’t expect her to be in a very good way so am happy to do whatever she wants to do. I stop by the florist and get her some flowers and a sympathy card. I give her a text to let her know I’m here and she comes out all smiles I hand her the flowers and the card and she says thank you as she walks back to the house my eyes fill with tears but nothing from Emma. Emma proceeds to get in my car and I ask what she wants to do, she says she has work on the bar tonight so can we stay in the city centre so she can get to work later, I let her know my ex has said she’s not in tonight and she can take it off to relax but Emma is adamant she wants to work. I understand grief effect everyone different so I thought this is how she wants to deal with it.
The day didn’t go as I expected, Emma was happy. I didn’t expect someone who had lost her sister a matter of hours ago to be cheery and not a single tear shed. She said she had no sleep and was up all night but the girl sat in front of me looked very fresh and no puffy red eyes from crying like I expected, but I wasn’t here to judge because everyone deals with things different. I spend the day with her and drop her off for work later the day.
On my drive home I couldn’t quiet put my finger on it but something was off. I tried to probe to find out more about her sister because looking back I had no idea who this girl is. Our friendship grew so quickly but prior to her coming to uni I have no clue on her life before apart from the city she previously lived in and the fact she had two sisters. I found them both a Facebook and Emma’s mum.
When I was home I was curious to find out more and something just didn’t sit right with me. I had a look at her sisters Facebook Rachel is 19 years old and Star is the one who has passed.
Stars Facebook reflected things emma had told me earlier that day, like she was into anime and she received her GCSE result on Friday, there was lots anime picture and she even posted a picture of her results paper. Her Facebook was pretty open and I could see a lot. A few hours later I decided to go back on stars Facebook because I realised I had never seen a picture of her before and I wonder if any one had posted a memorial post to find her Profile picture had changed an hour before. I was shocked because star wasn’t meant to be with us anymore, and understandably someone could have now have access and chnaged on her behalf but it went from a picture of anime character to a picture of a smiley faces made out of gemstones so there was no real significances of the picture.
I still have a weird feeling and decide to check Emma’s mums Facebook, it isn’t as public but I can see a few things, including a post 3 hours ago of her sharing her place of work and telling everyone how great it is to work there and if anyone is looking for a job to give her a call. Would you be posting about your work the day your daughter died, I know I certainly wouldn’t.
Later the evening I speak with my ex and tell him what I have found, he thinks it’s odd but says maybe she had another sister or maybe it’s step sister from her dad, because really we know nothing about this girl. I stop myself from over thinking because all I can think is how horrible it is of me to have even doubted what Emma told us was real. I call it a night and go to bed.
The follow morning I still can’t shake the feeling and me being me continue to look to see what I can find. On stars Facebook I find a status from OCTOBER 2021 letting people know she no longer Identifies as female or Sophie and going forward will identify as male with the name star. Emma has commented to say she is so proud and will support her all the way. I am still convinced that star is the sister who has passed because Emma has never mentioned any other siblings other than her two sisters and Emma had said Rachel was one who called to tell her star had passed so I knew out the two it had to be star.
I then go and look at Rachel’s Facebook. It has now been 2 days since star has passed away. Rachel has updated her profile picture to a new picture of herself in the mirror 3 hours ago. I check the comments and the likes and there is a comment from star 1 hour ago saying ‘cool pic’ my stomach drops. I can’t shake the feeling that stars profile is still active and not one family member I can find has made any tribute to star and look to be going about there days as normal.
At this point I had to find out from Emma what her sisters name is that’s passed but how can I do that without looking insensitive and being such a close friend how did I not know this before.
I reach out to Emma and let her know IM thinking of getting her a keepsake to remember her sister by and ask Emma what her name was
Emma replies her name was Sophie
Sophie is star, Sophie is the name star no longer wanted to be. Sophie is the girl who profile on Facebook is still actively liking and commenting and uploading pictures. My suspicions are real
But where do I go from here. Why has Emma made this up? Has she made this up? Am I going mad?
I know nothing about Emma in the grand scale of things, is she mentally ill? She previously told me her mum doesn’t allow her to see her sisters often because she says emma poisons their brains is there more to this girl that what I thought I knew. But what do I do now? Do I confront her? Let her continue? What if she’s mentally Ill and needs help?
The only people in this city that know is me and my ex and she has told us 1000x not to tell anyone else, but why? Why is it only us she’s telling? If she’s lying why ha she made this lie to us only? What are her deeper intentions?
Maybe she just associates Sophie as being dead, because Star is a new person?
Could always message Star. It could be fun to tell Emma, "so I just spoke with Sophie".
yeah, people do this, not necessarily because they're mentally ill, but just for attention. I worked with someone who did this. She went into a lot a drama to tell us how he was just a little boy of twelve and how very, very close to him she was. When I looked in the paper, it was not a child of twelve who died, but a young adult of eighteen. Not so very close, I guess. I worked one place where a man took several days over a couple months for funerals - HR started asking for him to bring in an obituary to show his relationship to the diseased.
Since you know what town the deceased lived in, you could check the obituaries in the newspaper to see if Star or Sophie or anyone died. Occasionally people choose not to publish one but most of the time they do.
Facebook doesn't really tell us much, does it? People's profiles are private, or they just don't keep up with posting. I would hold off any grand gestures. I agree it sounds peculiar. The thing is, the more you engage with her - IF she's lying, the more she'll lie, and you'll just get more frustrated. Liars lie, that's what they do.