I received a text message last night at 12:30 AM. I wondered who in the heck was texting me that late at night. The text read, "He's gone. Will call u Sun." Immediately, I knew it was from my boss, A, letting me know that her father had passed away.
A's mother passed away last October, and her father took that really hard as they had been married for over 40+ years, and she was his life. His health had declined since that time, but in the last month or so, his heart and lung problems worsened with him being in the hospital multiple times. During the last few weeks, home health care and hospice were consulted. A's father was also hardly eating and within the last week, dysphagia had set in.
Though most of us knew that his death was likely imminent, it comes at such a busy time for A. and all of us. The business just opened last week, classes had been set to begin tomorrow, and next Sunday is our official open house party. Now, this is all up in the air. A. had told me previously when her father passed away, she would close the business for a week. The office assistant and I would still work behind the scenes, but everything else would be shut down as this is was how they honored the deceased back in her hometown. I guess I'll know more today.
This makes me think about a lot of things. Death has a tendency to be almost polarizing in some families. I've observed it either brings people together or it tears them apart. And in some cases further than they had been. This is unfortunately what is likely to happen with A. and the rest of her siblings. Their relationship was already strained and A. felt like they did not handle their father's care well. This included saying inappropriate things while her father was in the room. Though it is doubtful that he could "will" his body to just shut down, feelings of being a burden could have made an impact on him. That, and in just the simple fact that he really did want to pass on.
The few things I am glad about is that A's father is no longer suffering, that he was able to pass away at his home like he wanted, and he is now in peace with his wife he longed for. The sad things left are that I know A. has not yet processed her mother's death, that she is numb with pain, that she will cut ties with the rest of her family, that she will not have all the support she needs (her husband is great but has a hard time with death as well), and that she is hugely stressed beyond belief.
It's hard to know exactly what to do but to make things as easy as possible for her business wise and to be a supportive friend. I hope that will be enough.