Quotes / Survivor Guilt

"He dies and not you, and you feel guilty, because you're glad he died, and not you. Soldiers live, and wonder why.
Croaker, Soldiers Live

Annie: When that bomb went off...
Jack: I know.
Annie: I thought that was it. I thought that was the bomb, and I was dead. And when I saw her body fall under the bus, it was like...
Jack: You were glad you were still alive.
Annie: Mm-hmm. (cries) I'm so sorry.
Jack: Don't be. You should be glad. We all are. It doesn't mean you don't care.
Annie: I know, but she was so scared.
Jack: She was scared. She was a nice lady who didn't deserve to get killed, but if she'd gotten off, it would have killed us all. He's the asshole, Annie, the guy who put us here. Remember that.
Annie: Big asshole.

"This is Captain Martin Walker... Requesting immediate evacuation of Dubai... Survivors... one too many..."
Walker, Spec Ops: The Line

Shepard: There was a boy back on Earth. Couldn't have been more than six or seven. I watched him die as the Normandy escaped the attack. Somehow, I'm still alive...and he's not.
Garrus: Being right about the Reapers has never felt much like a victory, has it?

"Oh my friends, my friends forgive me
That I live and you are gone.
There's a grief that can't be spoken.
There's a pain goes on and on..."
Marius, "Empty Chairs at Empty Tables", Les Misérables

"I had a 45% chance of survival. She only had an 11%. She was someone's baby. 11% was more than enough."
Det. Spooner, berating his rescuer, I, Robot

"I'm sorry I'm the one who didn't die."
Julia Masterson to her father, on being the only member of his family not killed by tuberculosis, Call the Midwife S02E06

"It's not that I don't want to remember. I have to remember… for those who can't."
Ratchet, Transformers Animated

"The circumstances leading to your being in a survival setting are sometimes dramatic and tragic. It may be the result of an accident or military mission where there was a loss of life. Perhaps you were the only, or one of a few, survivors. While naturally relieved to be alive, you simultaneously may be mourning the deaths of others who were less fortunate. It is not uncommon for survivors to feel guilty about being spared from death while others were not. This feeling, when used in a positive way, has encouraged people to try harder to survive with the belief they were allowed to live for some greater purpose in life. Sometimes, survivors tried to stay alive so that they could carry on the work of those killed. Whatever reason you give yourself, do not let guilt feelings prevent you from living. The living who abandon their chance to survive accomplish nothing. Such an act would be the greatest tragedy."
FM 21-76 US Army Survival Manual on guilt.

"The commander is responsible for the lives of his crew, and for their deaths. I should have died with mine."
Matt Decker's final words, Star Trek: The Original Series, "The Doomsday Machine"

Dr. Baker: When she wakes, Asuka will be facing very different challenges.
Shinji: What... kind of challenges?
Dr. Baker: It's called Survivor Guilt. As you know... Asuka holds her achievements very dearly. The fate of Unit 04- of Jessika- can be more dangerous to Asuka than any physical trauma...

Karl: Little fellow's back with us, then?
Owen: Aye, and all alone in the world. And past that solitude, what? Guilt at surviving? Pitiable lad...

Do I walk? Have I feet still? I raise my eyes, I let them move round, and turn myself with them, one circle, one circle, and I stand in the midst. All is as usual. Only the Militiaman Stanislaus Katczinsky has died. Then I know nothing more.