General — CancerLyfe


How do you handle survivors guilt?

July 3, 2023 in General

I found out last night that a young friend of mine passed away from the same exact cancer I was diagnosed. He was much younger than me, and the fact that his cancer metastasized and my did not leaves me with a lot of guilt. I know it’s part of the grieving process. I think part of it is because I’ve got to lead a full life even after surviving cancer. He never got a chance to even to start living. I do you get past the guilt or can you ?

1 - 3 of 3 Replies

  • YSarraboPatient

    My condolences J.

    I think it's understandable to have those emotions. The reality is one person is gone while the other isn't. We can't explain the how, what, and why; However, I would say live your life to the fullest, and do so by remembering your friend. The torch of life is carried on by you, now turn that guilt into action. Best!

    July 13, 2023
  • samanthadeanExpert

    I'm so sorry you feel this way. I first want to tell you that you aren't alone in feeling this way. A really good friend of mine passed away a little over a year ago, and I hate that she died instead of me; she was newly married, had a young daughter, etc.

    I think it takes a lot of reflection and good therapy to get through it. It's possible, but won't happen overnight. Reach out to other survivors because I promise you aren't the only person experiencing this; discuss how they got through the guilt.

    I hope this is helpful!

    July 18, 2023
  • KarinPatient

    I am so sorry about this - this is so hard to read - people dying is hard enough but feeling guilty that the person who died was not you - makes it so horribly sad!!

    October 28, 2023
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