rhody, for what it's worth, I have watched my parents, esp mom, suffer terribly [unbelievably at times] for the last five years. The day your mom died, my dad was in emergency surgery for a massive bleed in the brain. We don't know if he's still in there or not yet. He has had four major surgeries this year. All of the cutting and wacking on his body reminds one of something from a Frankenstein movie. He's 77.
I don't know what all you've been through, and I certainly don't mean to minimize the signficance of the death of a love one. It is some of the worst that we ever have to endure in life. But I have come to the conclusion that there are certainly things worse than death.
I totally agree, prior to loosing Mom I watched as my Dad succumbed slowly to Alzeheimer's, before that my wife's Dad slowly over two years from cancer, at the same time her Mom developed dementia, so I understand your sentiment. After these two events my wife developed breast cancer six months after loosing her Dad, and after chemo and mastectomy we are approaching 4 years she has been cancer free. I never used to believe prolonged stress can allow cancer to develop, but after speaking with six other women who went through prolonged severe stress, more than six months worth, in each case they developed some form of breast cancer.
I try to keep a balanced perspective on life, and balance every part as much as possible to not allow stress to become a lingereing part of it. PF is good for my mind, there are a lot of interesting knowledgeable folks here who are a pleasure to interact with. At the end of the day, I feel lucky to have my wits and general good health. That's all that really matters anyway.