Today, I got a call from a friend on the passing of his dad. He took time off from work 3 weeks ago to be with him, and support in nursing him back to health.

His dad was getting better, so he returned to work. One day back on the job, and his dad passed on.

There is a guilt that always follows the passing of a loved one. A guilt that we could have done more. For some, the guilt lingers. For many, it passes.

Birth and death are largely outside our control, but the parts we control give us hope. Hope is energising in the short term, but draining in the long term.

When he called, he was speaking about his mum. He was more concerned about how she would hold up. He had already parked his emotions and prioritised another. I see this frequently during deep loss states of humankind. Our best selves, our sacrificial selves, our loving selves show up.

I think he took the right decision to be there for what we now know were his dad’s final days. I think he is acting with courage by caring for those his dad left behind. I will continually check to make sure he is also caring for himself. Caregivers are known to waste away while giving care to others.

I am thankful for friends that spontaneously reach out to me when they have a victory to celebrate or a loss to grieve.

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