I am fortunate to work with a lovely woman (actually many lovely women), and even more fortunate to call this woman my friend.
Over the last several weeks I have witnessed her care from her mother, who until yesterday was in her final stages of cancer. My friend would be with her mother at night, and try to work from her mother's home during the day.
When "Mom's" condition worsened a few weeks ago, my immediate reaction was pretty much like this: "Okay...here's what you can expect. You are one of six grown children. Your family will all react differently. They will act crazy...and so will you." Let's face it folks, everyone copes with things differently, and just because you're related it doesn't mean they will react as you would.
At first, I worried that my initial advice was too harsh. Maybe her family wouldn't get crazy... but I did feel pretty confident that with 6 grown children, all married, there were way too many family dynamics coming into play. It's a good thing we joked about it, because as we entered into our third week of her adventure, the pressure was starting to mount and reactions were more extreme.
Last week I got a text message from her that read, Remind me again why I can't kill my family? To which I replied with a simple...Because the "Twinkie defense" only works if you actually EAT twinkies, which you don't. She sent me a couple messages after that... LOL...and significantly later...STILL LOL!
My blessing at work regrettably joined the "LOP" (Loss of Parent) club yesterday. Her lovely mother was only 71. How beautiful that she got to be with her, in her final moments. It's even more wonderful that she feels honored by it. Deep down...I know she will be okay, but right now it doesn't help the hurt.
It doesn't matter how old your parent is. The LOP club SUCKS!!!
The only comfort I could give her when she showed up at the office today (oh yes she did folks...don't worry...I kicked her out as soon as she would let me) was that I was here in this club to be there for her. I can't promise to take her pain away, but I can take her under my wing in the club, as some wonderful people did for me.
If you are a member of the LOP club...bless you. If you are not...bless you too. If this circle of life crap happens as I'm told it's supposed to, you will be. It sucks...but you're not alone. Come into the club only when you're ready...and one of the existing members (like me) will be there to embrace you.