Guilty? or Not Guilty?
Guilty? Or not Guilty?
When someone so young in your life dies, especially your big sister, being the one left behind you naturally feel guilty, guilty that you’re here, guilty they’re not. Guilty that for some reason you’ve been allowed to live your life and yet they aren’t allowed to live theirs. I feel a responsibility to live the best version of it. Everything I do I think ‘what would Emily do? Or think? If I did that, in some way it’s made me make better decisions in my life because I always stop and think about what she’d do or tell me in that position. However; does that then stop me from living because I’m always over thinking?
I get told all the time I shouldn’t feel guilty, I know I shouldn’t but I do; I would do anything to switch places with her.
There’s a lot of times I feel she would be doing better and more with life than I am. She wanted, and should have been a doctor, or researcher or some over complicated named job to do with science, at university studying something crazily clever and here I am just studying media and TV. I feel guilty for not being cleverer.
If you look at her twitter account, in the bio it reads ‘18. Welsh. loving life.’, she loveeedddd her life and yet she wasn’t allowed to live it, she battled cancer and illness for nearly 3 years and yet ‘loving life’ is what she said. I Never saw her cry or complain how hard her life was. She was the type of girl who’d say ‘there’s always someone in a worse situation’. She talked about the treatment she had that day like she was listing what food shopping she needed to get; “oh today I just had the morning injection and nebulizer, took 30 tablets and had my 3 weekly lumber puncher” she spent the best teenage years of her life in hospital and yet always had a smile on her face.
I believe that’s why I’m so opinionated, why I get frustrated with people so easily. I see teenagers, all over social media complaining about first world problems and yet my sister, who was dying still ‘loved her life’. I’m guilty of it myself, complaining about the smallest of things. Emily would have done anything to be normal enough to be able to get something so simple like a part time job, something all teenagers complain about.
I saw one of Emily’s remission possible posts this morning from 3 years ago today and it said, “I am now 2 weeks post transplant and have had a lovely chilled out day... AT HOME!” she was so excited to simply be at home. To a 17 year old it isn’t right that something so normal becomes such a luxury, but that was Emily’s life - she lived in hospital. When she came home, to me it seemed like a treat, almost that she came to visit us. We all take ‘being at home’ for granted, some aren't that lucky.
I’ve never been the type of person to feel guilty about things, but over the last year that started to change. Not just feeling guilty, everyone feels guilty about spending money, doing something you shouldn’t or not doing something you should, but now it affects me in such a way I cannot think of anything else, I get overly stressed about it, it changes and affects my mood.
I see Emily’s friends, in university, getting on with life - why isn’t she at uni. Why do I get to go to uni…. I don’t feel worthy, it’s not right me going before her. I learnt to drive, she never did. I feel guilty I got to do that. She’s my older sister, she should have done that before me. Having a boyfriend, getting drunk, being hungover, girls holidays, having a job, moving out. All those things she never got to do. The things we all take for granted, the things we all get to do but she never did because she died at 18. She loved her life and yet she hadn’t even started living it. I feel guilty for simply living and yet I feel guilty for not living enough either, I’m terrified of not living life to its full potential because she doesn’t get to live her life and I don’t want to let her down.
The first few weeks and months after Emilys death, I felt guilty about being happy, just smiling even. I felt I needed to be sad and depressed all the time (of course you do feel that way inside), but also you need to laugh and joke and do things that make you happy, otherwise how do you move on?, no not move on! but carry on with life? Because even though it felt completely wrong carrying on with life and I felt like the entire universe should stop because Emily died, it doesn’t. The world keeps going and you just have to do the same.
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