What is harder losing a loved one suddenly or over a period of terminal illness?

I have pondered over the years whether it is worse for the surviving family members to suffer the shock of a sudden or the declining family member that slips out of our embrace as they pass from life to ...I have experienced both. My brother died and I never saw him alive again after the sunny morning he left and never came back. My father-in-law whom I loved very deeply slipped away over a six month process that at first we thought was stroke only to find that it was cancer. At least with my father-in-law we got to tell each other "I love you" one last time. Just pondering out loud...

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