I was on a train back to NY from DC after a work trip a couple of weeks ago, sitting next to my boss (who is also a friend, and a huge oversharer prone to major TMI, FWIW). My mom (who had a stroke a year ago and recently survived sepsis but has bounced back remarkably well) has 24/7 care, shared among 2 aides. I was 2 hours away from NYC when I get a text from one of the aides to call her and that it's URGENT. This aide is a gem and not alarmist in general, but she was there when we had to get my mom to the ER for the sepsis, so is now hyper-vigilant. I had a total anxiety attack and started crying and freaking out in front of my boss. I froze because what if I was going to hear something terrifying while on a train 2 hours from the city in which my mom and I both live? My boss looked at me like I was nuts and told me to call - which I did, but I was shaking. Turns out it wasn't that big a deal (won't go into details, but there was some blood in the poo). A bit of back story: I'm an only child, dad died when I was 6, and I pretty much have PTSD as I spent every day of my life in fear of my mother dying. Even though objectively I fully realize that she is 84 with lots of health problems and isn't going to live a lot longer, she has bounced back from a million physical and emotional assaults, and I still can't imagine life without her. I still panic instantly when she's in an emergency situation. Had I been at home - ie, around 45 minutes from where my mother lives, I still would have freaked out at the text, but I would have rushed over there, had it been a true emergency. I told a friend, who seemed to think my panic on the train and my initial impulse to wait to call back until I was in NYC, and not trapped on a train, was kinda crazy. And I was very lucky that it turned out not to be life-and-death. But I'm wondering what would other people do in this situation, esp if you were an only child with no one else who could rush in on the spot? Let's say you got the URGENT text, were on a crowded train, called and found out that it WAS urgent, that your mother had stopped breathing or died. Would you just go back to your seat and hold it together until you got to the station? I told my boss the next day at work that I was mortified about the whole thing. She told me not to worry about it at all. I know she respects me a lot and values my work, but I still feel weird that I flipped out like that in front of her.