At the End

For years my policy when I was sick was that if I could get vertical, I went to the office. One time, about twenty years ago, I got into the office just fine. I then spent the next two hours mustering the strength to get into the car to go back home to bed. It was obviously a flawed personal policy, that came out of duty to my job.

I’ve spent the last couple of days fighting the flu–wisely, from my bed–and handling enormous grief in our family at the loss of my brother-in-law on Sunday. To not be able to console my wife for fear of getting her sick troubles me terribly. The possibility of being unable to attend my brother-in-law’s service to pay proper respect to a great man left me sleepless last night.

On Saturday my sister-in-law advised us that he wouldn’t have long to live. When we arrived at the hospital, we found family and friends, in various stages of grief and numbness. There wasn’t anything any of us could do, only offer support.

No CEO or executive from one of the companies he worked for was there. No demanding client that he gave up holiday time with family. No former bosses who expected him to drag himself into work sick. Only family.

Now how important is that meeting or Powerpoint again?

When my brother-in-law passed away early Sunday, his wife was by his side. I hope to be as lucky. Godspeed, John.

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3 Responses to At the End

  1. David Ross says:

    Thank you for this – deepest condolences.

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  2. Ann Cleveland says:

    I am so sorry for your loss, Mark. Your words really hit home with me, as I also lost one of my oldest and dearest friends last week. Since then many, many people have commented via Social Media on her life, and what an amazing and wonderful person she was. No one has mentioned anything that had to do with her work, or her job. A lesson to us all.

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  3. markpilip says:

    Thanks David and Ann, I appreciate it. On another note, Ann, I’ve never read an obituary or had a conversation with a friend about somebody we’ve lost that talked about the kind of cars they drove, the labels on the clothes they wore, or their net worth. It was about the person and their families. There’s that word again–family.

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