• How often do you get a little dose of survivor's guilt?

    Asked by GregP_WN on Sunday, June 28, 2020

    How often do you get a little dose of survivor's guilt?

    Again this morning I did. A friend of the family, younger than me, probably in his 50's, healthy by most standards, non-smoker, non-drinker, basically the best type of person you would want as a neighbor or a friend, suddenly dead. I don't know at this point why. But for whatever reason it was it's another example of we don't know when our time is coming.

    Here I have one foot on the edge of the grave and it's a little slippery. I have beaten the odds 4 or 5 times so far with a couple of other close calls with other health issues, and bad life choices, so you would think that if someone's run out of chances it would be me.

    But apparently, it doesn't work that way. I can't help but feel a little strange. Again it's another case of if you think your problems are bad, look beside you, someone else's are worse. I could be on my last flight in, but he has used all of his up. My life might have parts of it that suck right now, but I still have one.

    9 Answers from the Community

    9 answers
    • jdp746's Avatar
      jdp746

      Hi Greg, I'm so sorry for the loss of your friend. I've experienced survivor guilt many times. Some even before I aware I had it. In 2017, I went to a very dark place that I assumed was a PTSD issue related to my 40 years of a first responder life and 2 double fatality accident on July 4th. On July 6th, Angela (my cancer buddy) as I referred to her, passed. Angela was 23 years my junior. I couldn't escape my depression! At first my Therapist thought my issue was the years of trauma that I had experienced. However, on my third visit she told me my biggest issue was Survivor Guilt. I now had a name for what I was feeling. I feel guilty to the point it chocks me up and the tears flow! I think I feel it mostly due to my battle being quick and easy. I wasn't sick and I didn't suffer like Angela and many others, such as yourself do. It hits me hard when I lose friends in the battle or I hear of someone else I know being diagnosed. A note to TOUGHERTHANIT, You became a survivor the day you were diagnosed. My guilt started very early in my battle and I was totally unaware! I would cry, my wife would ask why. I would say, Just thinking about Angela. I was breezing though my battle and Angela was suffering and losing hers. Please know that I pray for all of us everyday. Jeff

      8 days ago
    • legaljen1969's Avatar
      legaljen1969

      I have had survivor guilt for most of my very short journey so far. I don't care if they are older or younger than I. When I see how hard some people fight and what they have to go through, it makes me feel ashamed that my journey has been so short and relatively uneventful. I think about what so many people do that adds to the happiness and joy and productiveness in this world, and then I look at myself and wonder why someone hasn't just cleared me out with the spring cleaning and chunked me in the trash bin.

      Lots of survivor guilt here.

      8 days ago
    • Carool's Avatar
      Carool

      Greg, I’m so sorry for your loss.

      While I feel guilty (sometimes unwarranted) about many things, I’ve never felt survivor’s guilt. My having survived thus far doesn’t hurt anyone, and my death wouldn’t have helped those who died. And I’m glad all of you are still here — I hope for many more years to come. I don’t attribute my survival to much more than having had excellent medical treatments and having had good luck so far.

      7 days ago

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