Honey, I just found this thread and I'm so sorry
. I lost both my parents to long fights with cancer (dad had lung cancer and mom had cervical cancer) so I know how hard it is. I don't think you can every really prepare yourself for losing a loved one. Mentally, yes, you know it's going to happen, but that doesn't help you to prepare emotionally. The loss is still as great.
The only thing I can tell you is cry when you need to cry, laugh when you need to laugh (and you will need to laugh), and talk about it as much as you need to. That's what we're here for. Also, it's ok to feel relief too. I felt guilty for feeling that after my mom passed, but our priest told me it was ok because she wasn't suffering anymore so relief is appropriate...it just seemed like a strange emotion to feel.
You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers. It is very stressful for you right now, I'm sure. But, after everything is said and done, if you need to vent, cry, just talk out feelings we are here, and my PM box is open.