I'm so happy to hear that I may have helped in some small way. Everybody's process is different and I know very well what you refer to in waiting for reality to slam you. After visiting dad in the Hospice for 3 months, even though you know it's coming (though at times I really wondered) when he finally passed, it was surreal... I knew what I needed to do and was going through the motions. I wasn't there when he passed, and though I have had pangs of guilt over that, I'm truely glad I wasn't, even though I know he went peacefully in his sleep. I knew he was gone which of course both saddened and relieved me. But then what hit me was that " I cant go see dad today", WTF am I gonna do now? That was the beginning of reality of the Void, which I feel is harder than the initial loss 'cause it doesn't go away.
Though I understand the statement very well, please try not to fear the greif, embrace it and release what you can. My heart aches so that I wish I could bawl my eyes out and yet I can't for some reason. I get that lump in my throat and get tears in my eyes but that's it... it sucks. But then I get teary eyed watching tv when I see some poor animal being abused... go figure. Release as much as you can, the guilt, the second guessing, the what ifs... pick the special times (good and the not so good) to carry with you, the memories that will help you grow. We each have a purpose for being here and everyone we come in contact with (even incidently) we impact in some way. Unfortunately we have little to say about how long we get to share a part of our lives with others, so cherish the time you had. Gratitude feels so much better than the greif of loss.
As for me working in a Hospice, My initial reaction is to be quite hesitant. My wife was a geriatric nurse for allmost 20 years. I know the toll that takes on a person and I'm not sure I have that in me to give, but I'm certainly greatfull for those who can. They indeed are very special people. Hang in there my friend, life does go on whether we like it or not and better times are ahead.