There's nothing like the death of a parent to make you stunningly aware of your own mortality. Other deaths have moved me to examine my life in light of the fact that it will one day end, but the death of my mother has done this in a more significant way. Not only will my life end, as hers has, but I am now the "next in line," as it were. I am now the grandmother, the matriarch of our family. I can now see that my life will have pretty much the same perameters as hers had. My grief at the loss of my mother is laced with sadness about my own future. Some days I can get past this and choose to continue having dreams, making plans, and investing in my future. Some days I just need to sit with my sadness over the fact that 20, or even 30 years seems a very short time to have left.