Nothing prepared me for the loss of my mother. Even knowing that she would die did not prepare me. A mother, after all, is your entry into the world. She is the shell in which you divide and become a life. Waking up in a world without her is like waking up in a world without sky: unimaginable.
Unless you've touched a corpse before, you can't comprehend the visceral wrongness of inert flesh wrapped around an inanimate object that wears your mother's face. You feel sick with guilt and regret and sadness about inconsequential anecdote. You can't remember anything thoughtful or sweet or tender that you ever did even though logically you know you must have. All you can recall is how often you were small and petty and false. She was your mother and she loved you in a way nobody ever has and nobody ever will and now she's gone.