Hi Forum Family,
This week has been a tough one for me, and I’m wondering: have you ever experienced survivor’s guilt when a fellow patient with IPF dies before you but was diagnosed after you?
I’m in the midst of publishing a column about this, but a friend of mine lost her Mom last week to IPF and the funeral was this past weekend. Her Mom and I corresponded a lot about the challenges of living with a terminal lung condition, as no one in the small town we are both from could relate to our struggles. The funeral hit me hard, and I found myself having to navigate some difficult emotions and questions. For example, many of the people at the funeral knew that I have the same lung disease as my friend’s Mom. When they asked me how I’ve been doing or feeling, I was reluctant to share that I feel lucky because my disease is relatively stable (for now), because their loved one just died from the same illness. The emotions and feelings I had at the funeral really complicated how I felt leading up to the services and throughout the day, and I think will complicate my grief as well.
How do you cope with the funeral of a fellow IPF patient, especially if you attend their services in person?
Do you have any tips to share?