Monday, February 04, 2008

Survivor Guilt

Today is the day my aunt died, a year ago. And, as you know, I am sensitive to anniversaries. Sensitive to time. So my body felt it, as usual. Mostly in the form of heart ache. And like there was this dark, thick, greasy film on everything in my life. Kind of suffocating me. And I got to wondering, and thinking... this is no ordinary grief, pushing feelings up from my heart, into my awareness and attention. Yes, there are elements of that, but there is something else here too.

And then it became clear...

I have survivor guilt.

A feeling of "Why me?", "Why did I get to make it? Why did I get to stay alive?". She deserved to live just as much as I did. But I am here and she isn't. How can I make sense of that? There is no logic to it. She was trying hard to live, giving it everything she had, really going for it, just like me. This randomness of life, it seems unfair and cruel and a little bit scary, because it means that I didn't DO anything to survive, I didn't earn it, because apparently you can't, so it was just dumb, blind luck. Which leaves me feeling vulnerable. And out of control.

It also drives me to feel like I should be accomplishing more with my life than I am. In being reminded how mortal I am, and how little time I really have, well, I should be pulling up my socks and getting more done, damn it. Which is discouraging and hard to feel, since really I am doing the best I can with what I have. And frankly am doing tons. Just this last weekend I led 20 people to some profound life changing experiences, that won't just impact them, but all the people around them. That's big stuff. But on days like today, it just doesn't feel like it's enough. And the only comfort I get is knowing that today will pass, and so will this feeling.


At 12:03 PM PST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

For what it's worth...
God obviously has a greater design than any of us can even begin to understand, except for the fact that obviously, He knew how much you would come to mean to me, and how much richer my life would be for knowing you... no guilt to be had darling, you should know by now, in the end... it's all about me... the whhhhhoooooooole universe... there... for ME!!!

Be at peace my friend, you ARE making a difference!


At 8:45 PM PST, Blogger Signy said...

Thank you for the reminder, Miss Anne. And while the WHOLE universe might not be for you, a really big part is, about the same size as would fit your personality, and we all know how big that is!!!


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