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Guilty For Living


I’m very guilty of believing that if something happened to me then I would react in a very certain way…. That is until the reality of the moment hits and I realise that I was completely wrong…. For example I believed that when I had a baby it would fit in with my life and my schedule….. hahaha how wrong could I be! And that’s not the only thing I’ve been wrong about either, and yet like many others, I don’t seem to learn my lesson.

The reason for me writing this blog was to try to create a little awareness and also as a reminder to myself to think before I speak, and indeed to take each day or life changing moment as it comes, because in actual fact, you can’t really prepare for anything, because you never really know how you’ll be. I was speaking to a really lovely lady the other day that I met on the Uden’s Walk n Talk (a weekly walk aimed at those that have lost a loved one) about the loss of her son. It made me stop and think with a very quick bump to reality when she told me that she felt guilty for living…..when I asked her what she meant by that and why she felt guilt, she explained to me that lots of people say that if their child died then they wouldn’t be able to cope with the grief, and would in-turn take their own life. Now I must admit I felt a little ashamed while I listened, because working in the funeral industry and watching many, many parents who are absolutely destroyed and heart broken at the loss of their child, I have often thought to myself that I wouldn’t be able to carry on living if my own son died. But here was this beautiful lady, telling me how guilty she felt to be alive and how much it hurt when people have told her over the years since she had lost her son, that they would kill themself if their child died. And so in cold reality I realised, of course she should live and what a travesty it was that this amazing lady, or anyone at all, should feel guilty for living.

She told me about how, even though her son had died many years ago, that he is very much in her heart and thoughts, and that she also knew that she had to carry on living, as another life lost would not bring her son back.  She told me how she would have loved to be a grandmother and that Christmas and birthdays are still difficult but that she takes time out to support others that may be in need as a way of coping and as a way of continuing her own life.
Thankfully, I have been extremely lucky enough to have not lost a close loved one for a long time, and I’ve often thought about how I’d cope, or if I’d cope at all if I did. But one thing I have learned is that I won’t know until, if or when it’s happened. Working in the funeral industry we are surrounded by grief every day. Lots of people that are grieving and suffering loss tell us how they really appreciate their friends and family pulling together and being there for each other. Even a text or phone call to let them know that you’re there and thinking of them can really help.

If you’re reading this and feel like you need some support, you are not alone. If you are suffering from loss, you can find advice or support from several agencies in the UK. Below is a link that you may find useful, or you can speak to your  GP about support networks in your area. And don’t forget our Udens Walk & Talk every Wednesday morning from 10am, to find out more please call us on 020 8850 2868.


Sarah Knight

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