Death is like a foreign country in which we don't know how to speak the language correctly. We are dealing with a different “dialect” than we are used to. It is kind of like growing up and living in Maine all your life, then moving to Louisiana. You can get along, but you're going to stumble your way through it all trying to be understood. What we're talking about here is the emotions we go through as we live life, and the emotions we go through dealing with the death of a loved one. Two different dialects, same language.
When we know that a loved one is going to pass soon, we need to prepare more for this stage in our lives than just the funeral preparations. We are going to be dealing with emotions that life has not taught us up to now, so we need to be more proactive with this. Talk to friends who have gone through this or professionals who are trained in this field. Get a feel for what you are going to be feeling in order to make the transition smooth.
A woman was talking to a friend about her friends' mother passing away. The one said “This is going to change you in ways you don't know yet”. The friend said, “That's what I'm afraid of. Sometimes I'm afraid I'm going to change............sometimes I'm afraid I won't. I just don't know where to go with this”.
This is what we all need to figure out. For our own peace of mind, and the peace of mind of our loved one's. They don't want to leave this life knowing that we're going to go through feelings we don't know how to express.