I lost my mom in 2005. I’d lost Dad in 1987. I’d been closer to mom, and had lived ten miles from her and managed her care the last couple of years she lived. I was able to keep her at home, sharing the load with other caregivers. Since she was on hospice her last few months, I knew I’d lose her soon, and I thought I was prepared. Still, when she died, I realized I was now an orphan. As you’ve said, I was now more free, but losing her was that last step in growing up. I was finally fully on my own (except for my husband and brother) at 61. What I missed most was my daily visits and being able to pick up the phone any time and know Mom was there. My relationship with Mom was like no other in my life.