I am very fortunate in that my mother and I were exceptionally close, and that we liked each other as people very much. This is not everyone's experience, I know. I suspect that it has helped me have a reasonably easy time of the bereavement, as it was simple; I grieved only for my mother, and not for what my relationship with her might have been.
There are several aspects that linger for me. The most cogent is the fact that her own mother - my gran - died only in 2004. So my mother had her own mother with her (and, I'm afraid, didn't get on very well with her) for most of her life - until she was 60 years old. My mother died when I was 33. If I live even as long as my own mother did (63 years), then there will come a time in my life when she is but a distant memory, no matter how strongly I emote of her. She will represent my youth, and her death the end of it. When I remember her sharp humour and her loving embrace, it will be in my memory a time gone by, possibly one day as just a vague dream. And if I live to 84, as my gran did, she will be further away still when I reach the end of my days. The world will have moved on, and she will be an artefact of the 20th century, who lasted merely a few years into the next.
The upside: my father has done well this year. I think getting back to bridge and the community that goes with it so quickly probably saved him from disintegrating into the horrific situation of the emotionally destitute widower, so vulnerable to a sympathetic death in the twelvemonth after the horrible day. He has spent much time in that big, sometimes lonely, house, putting in bits and pieces around the place in a way that would make Sarah Beeney proud.
There was a time in my life when I was religious, and believed in an afterlife. No more. I believe that, when we die, we simply come to an end, and oblivion awaits, as it does for any worm, haddock or capuchin monkey. The only way in which we live after death is in the memories of others, and in the trees we have planted, the articles/books we have written, the songs we have recorded, rather than in any sense of continued self-awareness. My mother is ended, but what a time she had.
She'd have loved that fucking party though.