Loss of Trust

March 26, 2021

Grief in itself is hard enough.  Grief can be very painful, and loss is one of the most difficult experiences for humans to endure.  However, there is no easy way around it.  We always talk about how we have to go through the pain and not go around it.  There is no shortcut in this journey.

When your loved one dies, you quite often find yourself caught up in making all the arrangements for their funeral such that your true feelings of grief may not emerge until several weeks, days, or even months later.  In addition to your primary loss emerging from their death, we all are aware of the often secondary losses that we also need to process, including loss of trust, safety, and security.

Your entire life changes.  Along with the changes due to the secondary losses, there may be financial change and also the loss of your independence and home. The loss of trust has many different components.  It could have been shown up in the lives of grievers before death. 

  1. You were unfaithful to me.
  2. You were unable to keep a job.
  3. You promised me that you would stop drinking.
  4. You promised me the world.  But it never materialized.

Loss of trust does not just happen when a loved one has died.  You can experience loss of trust in any relationship—the parent-child relationship, after a divorce, at work with colleagues or superiors, or at school with a professor.

Loss of trust: the lack of trust or confidence; a feeling that someone or something is dishonest and cannot be trusted; distrust.

Loss of trust: to no longer believe that (someone or something) can be trusted 

Loss of trust also can lead to a loss of security and safety.  If the griever is placed in certain situations that were never taken care of or that they believe to be unsafe.  Loss of trust and safety can halt the grieving process and make it challenging for the griever to move on. It is often difficult for the griever to understand why the grieving process is taking so long.  

As a griever, the first thing that we can do is tell the truth to ourselves about what has taken place—admit to yourself that there was indeed a loss of trust.  We must know that it was not all right for them to have misused your trust in any way.

You may feel emotional or upset during the healing process.  The feeling of not having trusted them may now always be present in your daily life more than before—know that these feelings are completely valid.  If you feel that you are getting too upset while talking about it, take a break.  Talking about what happened is just the beginning of the healing process, and completing what was left unsaid is the most important part of healing.

It is perfectly all right if you cannot work through everything in one night or two. 

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