One thing I’ve noticed about myself is when I come across a post of a cancer patient who has passed, I have a twinge of guilt.
Survivor guilt to be specific.
I have been blessed with the opportunity to raise my family. I have experienced the joy of a grandchild.
I think about the person who has passed because of cancer and has not experienced this in life. Yes, gone too soon.
I take a brief moment each time I am aware of an individual who has passed and is younger than I.
Yes, I am genuinely grateful for the life I have been given.
There are many examples of survivor’s guilt.
September 11, 2001, left many people with survivor guilt.
It was experienced by those who worked in the twin towers and for some reason had a day off, or were (fortunately) late to work. Those who survived while their co-workers and friends died were left with these feelings. Why not me?
But I am talking about cancer survivors or “thrivers” in my case.
It is essential to understand that researchers don’t often know why one person survives cancer, but another doesn’t. Or why one person can have breast cancer that’s kept in check by treatment while another person’s disease progresses quickly.
Acknowledge your guilt –
The first step in coping with feelings of survivor’s guilt is to acknowledge that your opinions are present and real.
Reach Out and Express Your Feelings –
Sometimes, just making an effort to express our mixed feelings can bring great relief.
And remember You are here, breathing and living life. Even if it’s not the life you want or hoped for, it’s life. There’s always something to be thankful for.