I am a project manager.
I have made a career out of managing people, tasks, and timelines.
Every project begins with a kickoff to discuss the project’s objectives and its success criteria, along with its operating timeline, risks, and mitigation strategies.
My job, done well, is the art of putting structure around chaos.
But times like these and events like these defy any attempts to create order, manage risk, and achieve objectives.
There is no such thing as a “good” time to die, but just as the last few weeks were not a “good” time to be born or get married, now is an “especially not good” time to die.
But life doesn’t happen — or end — on our own schedules.
What makes me good at my job is taking the nebulous, impossible things and making them possible — swiftly, tenaciously, empathetically, and with heart.
It is a skill I learned first from my mother. And it is a skill I have watched her apply from afar over the last two-plus years in the physical and mental deterioration of my father.
My father passed away at 11:00pm on April 1. We bury him today, April 3, at 2:00pm in a socially-distanced ceremony attended by four.
There is more I have to say and more I want to write about this. And in a time of quarantine, there is plenty of time to say more and write more about this.
But right now, all I can think about is what I do for a living and how there are no best practices, no playbook, and no way out other than through.
David J. Zendell
December 5, 1941-April 1, 2020