Guilt and grief

Hi, I lost my dear husband February 2020 after a short illness with Glioblastoma, we married at Thorpe Hall ( sue Ryder hospice) 10 days before he sadly passed. He was my second husband as my first also passed away at Thorpe Hall in 2004 after a 18 month battle with bowel cancer. Loosing both husbands, my brother in 1995 and my dear mother in 2019 has left me with so much guilt that I’m still alive. I often think why am I still here when they had their lives taken away from them most at a very young age. It’s been over a year since my husband died but I feel just as sad and lovely as I did in the first few months except the guilt increases. I feel I don’t deserve to be alive as I’m not making any difference to anyone’s life, my life or even managing to move forward in my life due to this guilt. I know I’m not doing great at work, my ability to do my job has been affected but it’s just hard to get back on track with things. Sometimes I think I’m doing ok then something will happen and push me back again. I just don’t know what to do.


Dear Donna,
It’s good that you have come back to this site. You have had so much to cope with. I think it is understandable that you are still struggling. A year is not that long and lockdown has made it so much harder for those who grieve, I hope that your colleagues and boss are supportive. Do you have any good friends or relatives you can talk to?
Feelings of guilt are often mentioned in posts. I think that what you describe is sometimes called ‘survivor’s guilt’. It may be helpful to read some articles on this, like the one I found here:
Are you still in touch with the Thorpe Hall hospice? If they offer bereavement support, maybe you could talk with someone there about how you feel?

Hello Jo
Thank you for your reply.
Unfortunately my work / managers are not that supportive even though I’m working with cancer and death on a daily basis I do think they understand how I feel even if I’ve broken down and told them on a numerous occasions. All the reply I get is to speak to my doctor about antidepressants which I’m so against taking them. It’s so hard right now to do the right thing when all I want is my husband to give me a hug and tell me what to do, even though I know if he was here then I wouldn’t feel like this. I often feel like I am waiting for something but I don’t know what or what to do.
Thank you for the link I will get in touch to see if I can get some help as the only one I’ve had is what my work offered but I felt they didn’t really listen.
Thank you

Hi Donna
Sorry for your multiple losses.
I cannot imagine your grief.
My prayers are with you.
Prayers are our best defense in keeping our sanity
A lot of times we just don’t want to do much in these situations, but you are going to work. That’s a plus.
Try to look on the bright side of life. Try to be thankful
I know it’s hard. I am struggling too. But there is always a much worse situation with someone else.
God knows your plight.
Take care