Sunday, October 13, 2013

Survivors' Guilt

Source - I took this picture of the Tra Vigne winery, CA.

A couple of weeks ago I traveled to California to spend time with my best friend.

On one of the days I was there we went to tour a winery.

The winery was so beautiful. Of course the wine was amazing. The day was filled with love and laughter.

On the drive back to our hotel I was looking out the window.. taking in the beauty around me.

And it hit me..

It hits me every time..

The tears started falling.

Once again, my husband missed out on an amazing experience.

When I think about all the fun I had and all the fun my husband missed out on.. it leaves me in tears.

Every time.

It feels like every time I have an amazing day it is followed by pain.

Followed by a slap in the face that he is still dead.

Pain that my husband can’t experience these things.

Pain that I am having such an amazing time without my husband.

I've thought a lot about it. How come when an amazing day is winding down, night is setting in, my brain goes there?

It seems like I have some version of survivor’s guilt.

Guilt that I can actually live and love life.

Guilt that my husband couldn't see a reason to live another day.

Guilt that I am enjoying my life while my husband is dead.

It hurts. It bothers me that I have to have a melt down after an amazing day.

Three years out, when does the quilt subside?

When can I enjoy life without feeling guilty about it?

When can I stop feeling sorry for my husband?

After all, my husband decided to leave this life.. I did not make that decision for him. So why do I feel guilty for having fun?

Times like this I wish I could tell him "Do you see all the amazing things you are missing out on?? What the hell were you thinking??"

Survivor’s guilt. Three years out I am still learning about all the bumps in this road called widowhood.


  1. We do have a life to live and enjoy, even though our past is not far behind. It's hard for me to do things that my wife enjoyed. Nice to wish, but wishing has little comfort. As you know we have choices to make of what we want and enjoy our life to have peace. I can't ignore the past, but I can't ignore the future either.
    God Bless

  2. Survivor's Guilt is a constant in my life too. My husband died 6 weeks ago. People say the pain gets lessened over time. I hope so. I get by -by taking one day or one thing at a time. I had to just go NUMB. I STILL haven't had a Good Howling Grief-Filled Bawl!! I am afraid too! I am ALONE most of the Time unfortunately. Dealing with Survivor's Guilt almost did me in-until I learned to think, "What would I want my Husband to do if our situation was Reversed? Suffer with Guilt? Or BE HAPPY, as he told Me to do!" So I push aside all bad , sad feelings/thoughts, and remember what He wanted for me..and I picture Him smiling and Laughing and then I do my best to ENJOY the Day-event-situation! Bless You!

  3. The guilt is hard for me as well. We have five kids and I feel guilty because I get to enjoy them, and watch them do all the things he is missing. The first time our son played t-ball I left and cried because daddies should be there for that kind of thing! Its been two years today. Today I am not going to feel guilty. I will remind myself that "Life is for the living" and I'm going to go watch our daughter play basketball tonight, and we will live!

  4. I have it too. This year we downsized to a smaller house but what turned out to be a great neighborhood for our kids. I feel guilty that I like it here better.
    I graduated from college and feel guilty about being excited about a new career when the only reason I had to do it was because he died.
    Feeling guilty about having a good life while he id still dead and not able to to enjoy it with us.
    I try to push it aside and realize life goes on but it is hard.

  5. I am still feeling guilty each time I have a really happy moment. My husband died suddenly 9 years ago this November, he was only 49. I have met someone lovely recently but cannot commit as the guilt is overwhelming me. The crazy thing is my husband's last words to me were "have lots of fun". Talking about this with anyone who does not have a clue what you are on about doesn't help.

  6. We've kept our original Widow's Voice blogs here for reference but you'll find our current blogs on the Soaring Spirits web site: