No one can prepare you for a beloved parent's passing. Even when you know it is inevitable, you are not prepared for the grief that you will feel, and no one can convey the depth of it to you in advance.
My father passed away on 11/11/11, Veteran's Day and also the Canadian Day of Remembrance. It felt like he slipped out through a tear in the space-time continuum.
My family entered a fugue state. We all could help take care of arrangements, but at the same time each of us felt a sense of unreality cloak our world. The words surreal and unimaginable took up a predominant place in our vocabulary during the week after his passing.
The sense of surreality is but slowly fading as memories of my father grow stronger each day. Shared stories of times with him has made us all smile through our daily tears.
I will forever feel his presence inside me when I make decisions, hug a loved one, or observe the unbounded sky overhead. I will miss him immensely.