I lost my mother on December 18th, after watching her get weaker because she couldn't eat or drink anything for days before the inevitable end. Filled with anticipatory grief, I couldn't sit with her as the end approached without breaking down. I couldn't say the words, "I love you" because mere words didn't seem to cover the feeling. I couldn't say "good by" at the cemetery because I want to believe she'll always be with me. Then I cried through much of the memorial service. During the first week, I sat looking at her picture and cried--a lot. Last night at the grocery store, I almost broke down in one of the aisles, remembering that I was only shopping for one. I had dinner out, and felt very empty realizing that mother wasn't sitting on the other side of the table. I was her primary caregiver for the last four years--and miss her terribly--though I had some feelings of burnout near the end. Mother's death left me feeling a great emptiness, as the biggest part of my life had been ripped away; also with a sense of huge loss, and some relief from a huge burden. Now, I have to pull the pieces together and start building a new life. I'm not sure how to do it.