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I work in a telecommute position so most of my correspondence with my boss is over email/Skype. Today, I got a phone call that my mom's cancer has spread to the rest of her body. I knew she had cancer, but now I've been told that her prognosis is really bad.
Usually, I would not bring my personal business into my work life. I try to be as professional as possible. Understandably, the news of my mom's cancer being so severe has made me non-functioning for most of the day. I really just can't bring myself to focus on work.
I would like to explain to my boss why my productivity has been so low today. It is a very critical time for the company and there is a lot of pressure on me to meet deadlines and get things done. I was supposed to get lots done today, really critical work, and I didn't do any of it. And I feel absolutely horrible and as if I'm a bad employee because I didn't get anything done.
Another concern is to not come across as too ranty if I were to tell my boss about this. I am really struggling to keep it together and I'm afraid that my email would reflect that and come across as unprofessional. I want to explain myself and my lack of productivity, but this is all so raw and I don't know how to tell him professionally and not just completely fall apart.
Is it professional to tell my boss, and how do I do so in a way that doesn't come out as being too ranty?
Regarding the duplicate: That question is related to warning their boss about possible future time off (and the job stability issues that may be a factor), and this is more about explaining lost productivity that happened today.