How long do you hope?

When we were told our then-16 week old son had a degenerative brain disorder and was likely to die soon I understood what we were being told, but I couldn’t, wouldn’t quite believe it.

Medical science isn’t infallible, there’s always the possibility of miracles . . .  in spite of the fact I knew neither of those were possible this time, I still clung to a tiny bit of hope.

Four weeks later when the doctor told me he had died, my first response was to say “pardon?”

It wasn’t that I didn’t hear him or understand, Tom was in my arms and I could see he wasn’t breathing.  I knew in my head that he’d gone, but my heart wouldn’t quite accept it.

That’s hope in the face of hopelessness and it’s not unusual.

Perhaps that’s how the families and friends of the men trapped in the Pike River mine feel. As every day goes past with nothing heard from deep inside the mine the outlook gets bleaker, but still they hope. 

The video of the blast  showed the severity of the explosion, but still, no-one wants to give up and say it’s a matter of recovery rather than rescue.

Yesterday the tone at the media conferences was more subdued, but still the mine management and rescue teams are trying to do everything possible, just in case.

And still, no matter how grim the outlook, unless there is evidence that it’s absolutely hopeless, people will continue to hope.

How long do you hope?

As long as you can.

6 Responses to How long do you hope?

  1. Rob Hosking says:

    To everything there is a season. And right now is a time to hope.


  2. gravedodger says:

    I am becoming more certain as each day passes without much in the way of good news, that possibly the intrusion of the media is not much more than an assault on the collective psyche of the marvelous people who proudly call them selves “Coasters” and in particular those closest to the miners by way of relationship and or friendship.
    The mindless plonkers who, as armchair “experts” continue to denigrate those carrying the awesome burden of responsibility for the safety of any rescue team attempt balanced against the probability of a successful outcome are becoming increasingly tiresome.
    Many are questioning the lack of vertical shafts along the access tunnel which, with that awesome insight of hindsight would seem like a great resource, however can you just imagine the expense and difficulty involved in getting consents for the added damage to the Paparoa National Park for that to happen in the previously assessed limited need for such an asset.
    I also am totally sick of the carping criticism of Supt Knowles and his apparent deference to the feelings of the families over the vultures who would call themselves Journalists. Yes Gary’s public communication skills may seem frustrating to some but until any of his critics have “Walked In His Shoes” I would humbly suggest they cut him some slack. All the experience and training in the world would be of little use in this situation. When 257 people were lost on Erebus 30 odd years ago it was very quickly known that survival was not a possibility but here we just don’t know, and finding out is fraught. As the spokesman for P.R.C. pointed out last night two men survived the initial blast, therefore releasing the cct footage was not seen as vitally relevant to the big picture. Where the gas dangers are in the explosive ranges that monitoring suggests, a second possibly more violent explosion would be catastrophic to any surviving miners, hence the frustrating but entirely understandable caution.
    IMHO one camera person and one reporter would be sufficient for TVNZ to keep their newsroom updated maybe one more of each but they must have 20 or more and the sum of their efforts will be more in grief creation than news reporting. Vultures on a fence is the image they create in my head.
    Good God even when Minister Collins and Commissioner Broard show up it is not seen as support for the Police team charged with the responsibility but as some sort of rescue mission for Supt Knowles, Jesus Wept.
    Ele your insight into a personal vision of hope over reality is timely and does help put things into some sort of perspective, thankyou.


  3. Fredinthegrass says:

    Thank you,Hp, and Gravedodger for the most helpful postings at this traumatic time.
    Some relevance and respectful thought is comforting to those of us at a distance from The Coast.
    Without hope we are doomed, and until there is no hope we will continue to believe.
    If that is extinguished, then we will love, and trust that love reaches those who need it most.


  4. scrubone says:

    I wonder how many mining accidents have there been where the rescuers have been looking for bodies only to find men alive?

    It isn’t over, yet.


  5. Inventory2 says:

    Wholeheartedly agree GD; one cannot even begin to imagine the trials and tribulations that Messrs Knowles and Whittall are going through at the moment.


  6. […] How long do you hope? ( […]


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