There’s usually one person in the family who is the go-to person when it comes to anything to do with death and dying. They are the one that everyone else relies upon when times get tough. They are the one who is called when a life is at risk. They are the one that everyone else counts on to get them through tough situations. They are there to liaise with the medical teams. They will drop everything to attend to the needs of the unwell person, even if it means their own needs do not get attended to for some time. They are the one who copes on behalf of everyone else. They will translate the bad news into more acceptable language.
They didn’t get a choice in these matters. Everyone else just turns towards them. They end up being a key conduit of information, from the family to the healthcare team. They will also relay information from the healthcare team to the rest of the family. The bad news may be broken to them in the first instance and they will broadcast the message in a way that their family will understand.
It’s difficult being that person. You are so busy taking care of everyone else, that you don’t leave much in the tank for yourself. You keep on doing your assigned roles. Someone has to do it. When everyone else is busy grieving and crying, someone has to call the Funeral Director. Someone has to organise the service, the funeral booklets, what songs to play, and what speeches are to be presented. No time to grieve when there is so much to do. That can wait until everyone else is taken care of.