I remember, a couple weeks before he died, having a conversation with a nurse about when to let go and let him pass, and how not to feel survivors guilt.
I remember it so clearly because it was the first of 2 major dips in his health before he finally decided that it was time.
I remember thinking “why would I have survivor’s guilt?” and even after he passed – I still didn’t feel guilty about surviving. I didn’t feel guilty about decisions I made.
I had one regret – not visiting the few days before he decided – but if I had to make those decisions again – even knowing what I know now – I probably would make the same decisions.
But now I feel guilty. Not about surviving, but because of the freedom I feel. I am free, because of his death, to do things that previously were not possible. They were not possible in my mind, in my thought processes because of how our life was set up.
Let me be clear.
I LOVED OUR LIFE TOGETHER.
I would happily go back to that in an instant.
I adored him.
But now… now the future is uncertain, unclear, and possibilities are limitless.
And for that, I feel guilty. I feel guilty that I’m excited (in my better moments) about what can happen now.
I feel guilty because the future – which had a clear path, a clear plan, is uncertain and I can do whatever I want. I can forge my own future. I can pursue dreams that seemed impossible before. Dreams that were shelved as unrealistic. Dreams that I gave up on.
I feel guilty because I can live a life that is authentic.
I would go back to our life together in a heartbeat.
But I can choose a life that works for me.
I don’t know if it’s because he’s gone… or if it’s because now I realize how very fragile life is.
But I don’t want to just mindlessly live the life I was living before… I want to live it with purpose, with intent, with authenticity.
I want my life back with him. But since that cannot, will not happen – I will choose a life that works.
And I feel guilty because I’m just realizing now what I should have done before.