Survivor’s Guilt

It isn’t fair that I’m so happy, so safe, secure while you struggle. You were there for a lot of it, for the worst of it, if not directly there, a simple phone call or letter away. I knew I could call you, and you’d drive hours to pick me up, buy me an ice cream cone, whatever thing I needed but would surely not ask for.

And here I am 900 miles away while your life falls apart. As your health deteriorates, bankruptcy looms, your marriage falls apart. You, my better. My hero. The kindest person I have ever met, the sweetest creature, beloved and pure and wonderful, who is more deserving of good fortune in my book than anyone. Why is this happening to you? To YOU of all people?

I wish I could tell you how much you’ve meant to me, how wonderful you truly are, but we weren’t raised to talk like this. I still remember the time I told you I loved you at a family wedding, when I locked eyes with you and told you, plainly, sincerely that I loved you, and how you burst into tears, sobbing more as I repeated the sentiment, completely unraveling. And I felt your pain reach out and cut me, and I understood and stopped myself, now sobbing with you.

We who are unworthy, who disappoint simply by being who we are. We who can’t seem to escape from the game we played for years we could never win.

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