Trust

rope bridgeTrust is a precious state. It’s the more credulous cousin of hope, but where breaking hope takes force, determination and time, trust can be destroyed in an instant.

Maintaining trust takes work. When leukaemia swept into our lives uninvited, I was a homeopathic pill-popping, vaccine-foreswearing, spiritual healing aficionado. Informed without ceremony that our perfect three-year-old had cancer of the blood, Steph and I were asked to trust strangers to drug her, cut her open, insert tubes, needles and poison as the best way of keeping her alive. Our trust endured as the medicine made her bald, hollowed her eyes, bloated her flesh and made her sick.

We believed the doctors who told us Juliette would be OK and we trusted them as she failed to fight even a cold without hospitalisation. It was one of these viruses that killed her. Chemotherapy kept her with us for nineteen months but ultimately, it stole her too. But we had no conscionable alternative, and to imagine we were wrong to put our faith in her treatment would make us complicit. Impossible to contemplate.

I have often thought that losing Juliette should have made me tough, suspicious and less inclined to trust. As an inoculation against further pain, surely the clever person would always imagine the worst?

I’ve had more than one incidence of broken trust recently. It hurts. In that state I blame myself for my blind credulity, and long to be a person with a gloomier (more realistic?) view of people and situations. This does not seem to be one of the lessons I’ve learned from my daughter’s death, however.

I would hate to be cynical, but I do wish sometimes that I were better able to protect myself from the pain of broken trust. I always imagine the best. I assume that others will behave honourably in response to my faith in them, and I suppose that’s because I’m hopeful. I believe in the innate goodness of people and, strange to say, in the beauty and richness of life. If that makes me stupid, well, pass the dunce’s cap.

 

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7 thoughts on “Trust

  1. Your words move me very much, Geves. You write from the heart. I’ve also dealt with trusting doctors and even opposing them at times. It is truly one of the hardest things I’ve ever dealt with. Right now, I’m coping with divorce and certainly that brings your post title into view for me. But most of all, we are kindred souls – wounded and optimistic that we will heal. Thank you for sharing.

    Reply
    • Thank you, Judy. I’m really sorry to hear about your marriage – the loss of our children puts an incredible strain on all our relationships, doesn’t it? All the emotional lines have to be redrawn, and not just once. Our experience will reverberate through everything we think and do for the rest of our lives. We’re changed, but not broken. I many ways we’re stronger. I think so, anyway.

      Reply
      • Amazing to read your words. I am touched by your message. I was thinking of you a lot. I was just about to post something, but was waiting until midnight here. It will become May 28th, which is my dead son’s birthday. Yes, we are forever changed. But healing is possible and I know you are deeply suffering with your beautiful daughter’s death. I pray it gets easier for you soon.

      • Judy, it’s nearly half past eight here. I’ll think of you and your precious son today for his brithday, and hope it goes gently for you.

        My pain of losing Juliette feels like a deep mine. Day to day I’m up on the bright surface, but once in a while I’ll hit a dark seam of remembered grief. That’s just the way it’s been for me; greater highs and more profound lows. Her love and my love for her is weaved into everything, and I would not have it any other way.

  2. In the past three years I have lost my grandmother; my father; my best friend; a cousin, his son and two children and 3 friends of 20 off years. Then my precious daughter died 131 days ago. Nothing could have prepared me for the death of my child. There is no pain that can compare to the loss of a child. Judy, who commented earlier, refers to it as an amputation…Hugs to you on your journey of healing. Only a bereaved mother can understand another mother’s pain and loss.

    Reply

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