I first met her after my husband was diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer.

Her first words were… you should have been the one dying.

It would have been easier.

Then she went on to tell me that I would not be able to raise my kids without him,

that he was the smart one.

He was the strong one.

He was the one with a job.

He was the one who could do it all.

It should have been me with the cancer.

After he died she told me how I should start looking for a job immediately and not think about my dreams.

She told me to be afraid. Very afraid.

She told me that I was not a good parent without him.

She told me I would suffer for the rest of my life.

That I would fail at everything.

She convinced me to get the job I hated. She said…it’s better than nothing.

It took me a while to figure out that she was the voice inside my head making my life after loss much worse than it had to be.

As the years went by I named her My Survivor and I have trained myself and thousands of others to gently show her the door.

My response to her took years but I finally found the strength to talk back.

And, I have been proving her wrong for the last decade.

I showed her that I am one smart woman capable of things that seemed impossible to her after he died.

I showed her that I am one heck of a mom raising my daughters.

I built my own company despite her telling me I was not worthy.

And I have been making my dreams come true regardless of her daily presence, still to this day.

Our Survivor voice does not go away… ever. Never.

As the years go by she gets very skilled, very loud, very convincing but we get really good at shutting her down.  

The Survivor self finds her way in, especially after loss, when our identity is in crisis. (Click Here to Tweet!)

I nearly believed that my life after loss would not be worth living. That was a lie.

So look out for the Survivor trying to influence you.

Start writing her words and sentences down.

What is the one thing she keeps telling you about your life after loss?

Remember she wants you to be safe and run away from life.

Don’t listen.

With a thriving voice,


P.S. Order the Where Did You Go? book here: https://www.amazon.com/Where-Did-You-Go-Life-Changing/dp/0062689622

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Christina Rasmussen is an author, speaker and social entrepreneur who believes that grief is an evolutionary experience required for launching a life of adventure and creative accomplishment.

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One Comment

  • Courage says:

    Your email, Christina, was the first thing I read this morning.

    “You should have been the one dying.” Gut-punch. That was my mother’s voice to me, when I was young. It strikes me, as it did you, that the Survivor wants us to die. What a paradox. Or is the Survivor just exhausted to the core, and needs some fundamental rest? Is it both?

    The Survivor survived, and survives. That’s her job and her life’s primary achievement. There’s room for little else…until Life nudges her so hard that she feels herself teetering on the edge of a cliff. Her own life is at risk now, because of how she has survived…”to be safe and run away from life.”

    I’m new to your work and your thinking. Thank you for your presence. You point to an archetype, an inner presence that authors a half-life in us. I’m writing from the perspective of a childhood abuse survivor whose identity was largely nullified by the imperative to stay alive enough — invisible, shut down, silent, undetected. Your work is applicable to us, too. Loss shatters in many flavours…

    Thank you for thriving, and showing a way through.

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