No one ever actually told me they were dying. At 13 years, my maternal grandmother, to whom I was not especially close, died at the age of 83. I remember the sting I felt at her funeral when my grandfather blurted through his tears, "She was a good girl!"
A few years later, I had a dream that the earth rolled away like a blanket. My grandmother reached up and we hugged. It was my way of resolving that I could not communicate with her in her native Slavic tongue while she was alive. Having raised nine children, she undoubtedly was a wonderful woman.
The deepest hurt at felt about anyone's actual death was that of my elder half brother, who was only 32 at the time. He died of leukemia and left behind his wife and two little girls. Somehow I felt that I was at least partly responsible for his passing. I was unable to attend his funeral, and it took several year to put the experience behind me. I now know he's in good hands. ***