When I was fourteen, my father passed away unexpectedly, leaving me untethered in many ways and with a mom not really capable of effectively managing her own life, much less parenting a young teenager. She couldn’t cope with her loss and had a breakdown.
That left me to take care of the funeral arrangements. I remember picking out the casket, the flowers, and the headstone, along with negotiating payment arrangements with the funeral home. I didn’t really question it—I was just going through the motions and handling the details of what had to be done for my father. Needless to say, this event changed me and the way that I interacted with the world.