Survivor Guilt

Being happy can make me feel guilty, as if I have forgotten to be sad about my son’s death, as if I have forgotten him. But of course I haven’t, that would be impossible. But it is also impossible to feel the intensity of the loss all the time. It is crushing. Luckily our minds won’t allow us to; eventually we begin to feel other things besides pain, despite ourselves. And of course it is OK to feel happy. But nothing is ever one layer emotionally.

We recently spent a few days at The Balmoral Inn in Biloxi, a place we spent many a summer vacation with our boys. Memories of big tackle in the pool, chasing crabs on the beach, island hopping, all you can eat pizza buffet, Wet Willie’s — a water slide not a physical condition, although one does lead to the other 🙂 — Fun Time USA crazy golf and golf carts.

Lots of good memories. Precious memories of our boys. Life was good. Life still is good except for when its bad! And now it is good and bad at the same time.

I don’t know how to do this mourning thing and still enjoy life, but there is no right way. It seems it is possible to experience joy and still be experiencing loss. What’s good is that thinking about my son being “with me” rather than “gone” has helped (although I have to watch the talking to myself). I will just have to learn to live with emotional layers and not deprive myself of joy out of a sense of guilt. I know my son would want me to find some joy again.

One response to “Survivor Guilt

  1. Six months, 6 months I have been without my wonderful son, everyday I feel this way, thank you for sharing your feelings, I don’t feel so alone anymore or like some type of alien…… Afraid to say anything, grieving in solitude, screaming inside, pretending daily that I am okay… Suicide is a horrible thing to lose a son to, I yearn to comfort him every minute of every day, just one more hug… Thank you and god bless….

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