• Susanne Birgersdotter

This is going to be an emotional piece. I’m not even sure if I’ll post this at all. I will be sharing a very intimate aspect of being an entrepreneur, a public personality, and a private individual all at the same time. I’m going through the hardest journey of my life, and right now, I feel lost. I can’t decide on what to do, what my role is, or what is expected of me.

My mother is dying of cancer.

I’m in an impossible place and I’m drained in all aspects – emotionally, physically, mentally, financially, professionally even. I have always been proud of my decisiveness, my drive, and my focus. I’ve always known what to do, how to do it, when to do it, and when to quit. Not this time. I have no idea what I am doing, if I’m doing it right, or if I’m just being a pain.

In the last few weeks, my days have been dark and long. I’ve been spending a lot of time in the hospital. I need to be beside my mother as she goes through the last days of her life. I’m not and don’t feel obligated at all. I love my mother wholeheartedly and I want to do this, I need to be with her. But then, there also moments when I hated it.

I hate cancer. I hate being in the hospital – watching my mom fight a futile war, looking at the hopelessness in everyone’s eyes, and talking to the doctors knowing what they’re going to say while still hoping for a miracle. I can sense despair and hopelessness seeping into my soul. I want this to end, but knowing what that means, I don’t want this to end.

While in the hospital, I am endlessly bothered by the responsibilities that I know are waiting for me. I think of my job, my commitments, and other business obligations. I wish I didn’t have to stay in the hospital. But I also want to, for my mom. Things might have been simpler for me if I’ve been an employee instead of an entrepreneur. If I was an employee, I could just take some time off and someone in the office could easily fill in for me.

But I can’t do that. I have responsibilities that I can’t just pass on to the next person in the room. I have commitments that need my personal appearance. I have people counting on me to be there. And one of them is my mom.

So, I will stay in this limbo for a while. I do not like where I am, but I will not choose to be anywhere else, given the circumstances. This too shall pass, I know. But I’m not sure how I will fare. I’m just realizing that no matter how sure we are in life, no matter how clear the path we keep, or how steadfast we are at pursuing our dreams, there will be times where we’ll just have to give in.

I try to get as much done. I go through my emails, conduct virtual meetings, and review reports as I sit next to my mom’s bed. I make calls while holding her hand. I don’t want to leave the room.

There will be times when the best thing we can do is just go with the flow, to trust that everything will eventually fall into place, and to have faith in your own strength and resolve. This isn’t easy for me, a person who’s made a career out of leading and taking control. This is painful, but also temporary.

This is another entrepreneurship challenge that you’ll never learn from business schools or business books. I’m still lost, struggling to cope, and trying my darnest to survive. I’m sure this is just another challenge in the life of an entrepreneur. Everyone, at some point in their life, will be in an impossible place where the lines between one’s personal and public personality are blurred. When you can’t decide which role to take on and which responsibility to put on top.

These are the days when love matters the most, when the heart rules over the head. I know I have to be somewhere else, working and attending to the needs of the business, but my heart says I stay. I decided to stay. I use my head a lot and on most occasions of my life, this time, I chose to follow my heart.

I will miss u so much, you said goodbye July 11th 2019