I was awake early this past Friday morning. Among the many things I had to do was write this post, prepare for an afternoon of interviews for our new Research Director and follow up on a list of items for a major new project that we just launched.
I got up, walked the dog, came home, started up some coffee and noticed that we had a message on the phone. It was my Mom. Calling at 6:20am. I returned the call. My Dad had passed away during the night. He had been sick for some time and was in the hospital. Surprised and not surprised at the same time.
Focus on Work
Since he had already passed, there wasn't much I could do. Might as well shower, head into work and spend a few hours catching up on things. After all, who else was going to write this post? Or be part of the six-person interview panel? Or follow up on outstanding project deliverables? My Mom had been expecting this for a while and can handle the funeral arrangements. After all, he's been sick for a long time and she's been taking care of him.
Focus on Life
Since he had already passed, there was a lot I could do. My Mom, who was married to my Dad for 45 years, was going to need someone to assist with funeral arrangements. She had just lost her best friend. We found out from my brother that Dad's service in the U.S. Navy qualified him for full military burial at Fort Snelling National Cemetery. Honor guard, taps, flag, the whole deal. He is evening checking into the possiblility of the Patriot Guard escorting us as well. We spent time yesterday on arrangements with the funeral home and today with my Mom's parish priest. We're as ready as we can be to celebrate my Dad's life and passing this coming Tuesday.
I chose to focus on life. Supporting my Mom, brother and sister was right where I belonged. There are times when we need to let ouselves fully embrace whatever emotion we are experiencing, be it joy, sadness, anger or fright. And allow others that freedom as well.
The incredible support I received from my boss and others at work allowed me to be 100% in the moment, in the emotion, and with my family. The ability to be 100% present, wherever one is, isn't easy. The unfailing support of others is required.
I highly recommend it.