The boss lost all sense of meaning in his life after the death of his son. The simple thought of his son would send him into fits of tears, and he did not believe that, even with time, he would ever recover from the shock of the loss. He had intended for his son to take over the business from him, and he has no other sons to fill this role. Because the boss is defined by his position in a business that he built specifically for his son, he cannot figure out what it would mean to have an identity outside of it. Without a successor to carry on his legacy he feels like he may as well have nothing at all.