Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Thank You to the Village

From March 8 to March 17, I was focused entirely on my father - from serving as his healthcare navigator to arranging his funeral/memorial to ensuring my mother had a path forward.

For 10 days, I had to minimize my roles as a CIO/professor and maximize my roles as son/clinician.

I cancelled numerous meetings, speaking engagements, and classes.  I backed out of commitments made months ago.   My response to calls/emails/texts went from minutes to days.  

All of this was necessary and appropriate to support my father.

Now that I'm back in Boston and restarting my usual schedule, I can say that the past 10 days were only possible because of the incredible outpouring of support I received from the village of people around me.

My wife and daughter flew to Los Angeles to support my father, my mother, and me.

My parents' friends brought food to the hospital, helped with funeral arrangements, and provided emotional support.

My  staff at BIDMC covered for me in all my meetings and phone calls.   Nothing bad happened and no urgent issue was overlooked.

My colleagues in the State and Federal government ensured the cadence of all our work continued without me.

The lessons learned
*Family must come first
*There is no work related urgency that trumps a focus on major life events
*The people who surround you in life make all the difference

Thanks again to the people who supported me.   I've now completed all the tasks surrounding my father's death - from comfort care, to cremation, to memorial, to preparing  the house for my mother's needs, to working on all the financial/administrative matters surrounding the death of a father/spouse.

The healing will take time, but with the great people who came together over the past 10 days, I'm confident that all will be well.


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