Several friends, family of friends and friends of friends have recently died. It was thus that I felt called to write this short (I hope) missive on the subject of loss.
Many, most but not all of us are blessed to have some, perhaps many, good people in our lives. It is inevitable that some or perhaps all will die before we do. It is only natural to grieve and to miss those people. Let's face it though, in some cases the grieving is really self-pity. After all, you don't want to lose somebody you care for.
Our family, my line anyway, don't seem to be given to wailing, gnashing of teeth or the rending of garments in grief. We tend to the celebration of the life lost. Even when your Uncle Benjamin died at age 8 we tended to sit around and laugh and talk about the good times we had with him and the funny and nice things he had done and to keep reminders of his life front and center in ours. So, when an older person died, particularly one in as much distress as your Great-Grandmother Eleanor who spent at least 10 years struggling with Alzheimer's, we tend not to cry too much knowing it is for ourselves rather than for her. When my mother died, I was truly relieved that her suffering had ended and while I grieved for MY loss, I realized that God had blessed me in allowing her to say goodbye in one of those brief moments of clarity she had. She knew, she was ready and she welcomed her turn to move on to the next life.
For yourself, you will have to deal with loss as best you can, as you see it. For others you can only say you are sorry for their loss and lend a ready and willing ear to their stories of their loved ones whenever they feel the need to speak.