Survivor's Guilt

By Sharon Dunn

From the Summer '96 issue of Hopes & Dreams, newsletter of the Illinois Chapter, Huntington's Disease Society of America.

Reprinted from Northern California Chapter Newsletter, HDSA Nucleus.

I sank to the ground
with the phone in my hand.
I could hear the silence
in your congratulations.
You tried to be happy for me
but how could you be?
You have Huntington's Disease
and I don't. I'm trying to be happy
for me too
but how can we be happy
when the joy resonates with
the truth of survivor's guilt.
We are separated again as siblings
only this time it's by a future
with HD and
the promise of more to come.

We don't always know
how much we love someone
until it's tested.
We're reminded
if we're lucky
or not so lucky.
The test results are in
I love you--
enough to feel the sorrow
in your struggle,
to cry like I've only cried
a few times in my life,
to make a promise to myself
to always be there for you
no matter what.
I love you for being my brother.
Your courage is my inspiration.

Send comments to Renette Davis for Renette by clicking here.

Last updated: Dec. 1, 2010