At first you are relieved that she isn't suffering, suffering pain and various indignations 24 hours a day. Then you feel guilty that you are so relieved you no longer suffer from sleep deprivation yourself Then the glaring reality sets in for the next year or more.
The firsts -
First holiday without mom
First family dinner without mom
First birthday without mom
First family reunion without mom
First chic-flick without mom
First time you pick up the phone to call her and remember, she's gone
First time you complete a task that was formally a buddy thing (mine was sewing)
First time your dad cries over dinner
First time you see mail with her name on it
The Now Whats -
Now what do we do with her magazines about architecture
Now what do we do with her painting supplies
Now what do we do with her shoes that were custom made
Now what do we do with her paper weight collection
Now what do we do with the Christmas decorations
The now whats generally come about because they are things that are specific to the person you lost - not things you collect or "do" - but things that made them unique and special to you.
Oh - can't forget the I’m Nots! -
I'm not going to leave my kids with a mess when I'm gone
I'm not going to leave all this stuff here for the kids to sort through
I'm not going to fall apart
News flash - you are probably going to do all the I'm Nots! - because you are so drained you don't have the energy to get organized and there will always be something that must be completed by your spouse or children. The falling apart?! When you don't expect it! Personally - I didn't really cry about anything after mom died... until I had to put down one of my daughter's cats just last week. I couldn't stop crying all day - it just took the right trigger for me to let go. You see, I have this rule that I have to hold it together for other people - and I did - but hey, you do get your day to cry too. Hopefully, on your terms.
You will see it popping its ugly head up in relatives around you (note I deny my personal anger moments) and occasionally you have to speak with stern words to others to put perspective back in place. Relax, this is part of the grieving process - and that process is like a wave hitting the beach... it rolls in then ebbs back out and rolls back in again a little bigger and stronger ... the anger also build like waves and then something pushes them hard enough they break and the sea of life calms again for a time.
If you have lost a loved one, I empathize with you; If you have yet to experience the loss of a close loved one, I rejoice with you.