Blog: Survivor’s Guilt

Burt Ross

For those of you suffering from survivor’s guilt, please do not feel guilty on my account because I lost my home and you did not. I hope I would not be overcome by guilt if the tables were turned. I am obviously sad that I lost my home, but am happy you still have yours.

If I have learned one thing in almost 76 years, it is that s–t happens to everybody sooner or later, and if you are going to feel guilty whenever somebody else suffers, then you will feel guilty much of the time, and that is no way to live life.

Losing a home is just one of the nasty events some of us endure. I have friends who lost a parent when they were so young they never really knew their parent, and I have other friends who have lost a child or a mate. I know people who have gone through bitter divorce, suffered from addiction, undergone chemotherapy and so on. The list of horrible things that happen to us is endless.

We suffer enough without bearing the guilt for other people’s woes. Of course, we are human and cannot help feeling sad when others hurt, but feeling guilty is quite another matter.

People should feel guilty when they have done something wrong. That is perfectly normal. But to feel guilty simply because others are suffering makes little sense.

My advice is when somebody loses a loved one, treat your loved ones with extra hugs, and when somebody loses their home, you be especially appreciative of the roof over your head. 

In other words, enjoy your blessings while you have them and don’t be bogged down by guilt that never did anybody any good.