It's finite. It's tragic no matter when, where, how. And when it comes to the loss of a parent who lives in another city or country, it comes with an even heavier weight of guilt, of non-closure and logistics.
But we all deal with death - it's part of life really. And we often leave our home towns before or after college and head to places with better or more unique career opportunities. Sometimes we meet our life partners while away at school or elsewhere and we end up living in their city rather than ours.
Life is so busy. It's all encompassing once we have families of our own and work and health issues as well as financial worries. We call our parents as often as possible. Sometimes we SKYPE or email or facebook or tweet but nothing takes the place of being eye to eye in the flesh and nothing is as warm or personal as a hug and a kiss.
When a parent falls ill in a different city, life really kicks you in the head. You start this rollercoaster ride that never seems to end. This is when you have no choice but to travel to wherever they are and do whatever you can. That isn't always the case. Sometimes they pass quickly and unexpectedly and you find yourself rushing on a plane to their side only to be faced with the surreal situation of them being already gone.
The thing is that whether you are prepared or not, whether you can get away in time to be there for their last breath and to feel the squeeze of their hand; there is no great outcome.
Travel Agents are human. They feel. They listen. They help. They jump through hoops for you and your loved ones so you can get where you have to when you have to without the added worry of the logistics involved.
So many of us have been bedside witnessing the demise of a loved one. We see them go from the personable, funny, animated individual to nothing more than a shadow of themselves. We watch helplessly as their body and its organs fail them and as death takes that final breath away.
And then they are gone. It's sudden and although expected it's always unexpected. They are there and then they are not.
Making it there on time or even in advance to care for them whenever possible and relieve the strain on the family member (if any) that is in that city caring for them 24/7 is integral to your piece of mind and as a tribute and in honour of that one person who was so significant in your life and cared for you.
In most circumstances travel is associated with vacation time, escape, work, family time, friends, fun and laughter.
But travel can't only be one thing. It is many things all mixed together and part of that mixture is you and your loved ones as they leave this life. It's inevitable and when that time comes, it's best to be in the hands of a Travel Professional who will commiserate, listen and send you on your way.
Life if filled with beginnings, middles and ends. It's how we deal with them, learn from them and carry them forward that counts.
Be there for the ones you love as they were there for you.