Let’s just keep it real here and go on a purge of thoughts.
The last few months have sucked.
My father, who has been living with me for the past several years, passed away in mid September. Prior to his death, we had several trips in and out of the hospital, which eventually ended up with him needing at-home care.
My little sister and I tried to balance the tasks in between the hospice visits, and working. It was aggressive but we were managing, even getting into a routine.
Then, when I was away on a work trip, he passed away. I should have known it was close. And in my gut, I beat myself up for leaving. He was doing so well the week before I left. In fact, it looked like he was getting better. He was up and moving around. He scooted his office chair here and there and it was like keeping up with a toddler at times. He even hooked up a long oxygen tube so she could sit on the back porch and enjoy a beer with Doug and I.
Three days before I left though, he was struggling again. And I thought, maybe I should not go? But, though work had been demanding, they had let me work from home to care for dad. So, I figured I needed to go on the mission to prove I was still a team player.
So I did, and he died while I was gone. My poor little sister had to do all the immediate stuff: call hospice, watch him be taken out of the house and … I know that sucked even more than being gone.
So now we are here in the aftermath, figuring out what to do. Dad was not good with money and was a bit of a hoarder. I am not saying he was a bad dad. He was kind and worked hard to provide for us when we were young. He was a product of the generation of fathers were where just sort of there. Present but not fully present. I mean, there were no great Lifetime Movie Network moments of dad giving out great advice or showing us great moments of affection. He was just there and loved us in his way. Meanwhile, he was still a man with flaws and one of those was money management.
So, here we are now notifying bill collectors and sorting out his things. And while my work was flexible, my sister’s pretty new job was not. Not at all. They actually fired her because she “missed too much time in the training program.”
Like they literally said, sorry for your loss by you missed too much time in the program so we have to terminate your employment. What kind of crap company does that? I mean, no sympathy, no remorse, no kindness, no understanding. Perhaps they are not human there and therefore have no capacity to understand? Or perhaps they are so focused on work that how anyone feels is irrelevant.
In fact, I think much of the world has a limited capacity to think of others. Through this process, I have learned that people really don’t give a F&@*, especially when it is inconvenient to them.
They will talk a good game and say sorry and let me know what you need, but they really don’t want you to call them and ask for help. And I get it, because the things I needed help with were things no one wants to do. Oh, you want to come over here and help me clean dad’s bedsheets and give him food and medication while I go put my old horse down because she is now blind? Do you want to come over here and take my three cats to the vet because I cannot leave dad and they are way overdue for a check up? Or now that he is passed, do you want to call all these companies and inform them that they need to write off his bill because there is no estate? No? No one wants to do THAT stuff, the stuff you really need.
I mean, I cannot be mad at people for not wanting to do those things. Hell, I didn’t and don’t want to do any of those things either. But, sometimes, some of us don’t get choices. The party line is that we all have choices, but it’s just not true at times.
So here we are, figuring out who he owed and trying to inform them. And ultimately, they don’t care either. They just want their money, like bosses just want the work done.
People will say all the right things to take away all the awkwardness from themselves, but again, they really don’t mean it. They say sorry for your loss but then move right into what they need from you. And sometimes, there are folks who don’t even say the BS ‘Sorry for your loss’ line and just move right into, ‘I haven’t seen you in awhile so I wanted to talk to you about….’
And if they ask you how you are doing, they don’t want the real answer. They just want the politically correct answer so they can move onto what they need from you.
And for right now, I really want people to not need anything from me right now. But that’s just not the reality of the world.
So how can I help YOU?