Recently I have had two very close friends lose a parent. They both asked me, because I have been through it, “what was the toughest part for you?”
Of course every situation is different. For both of them, the parent died at home under Hospice care, which was helpful for one, not so much for the other. As a former Hospice volunteer, I found great comfort in the fact that I was holding my dad’s hand when he died. From my perspective, death is a natural transition. Obviously not when someone is the victim of an accidental, violent or premature death, but when an older parent dies it seems only slightly more tolerable.
What I most encourage is that survivors reach out to friends (those who have been through it), maybe a therapist – depending on the situation, as well as public and private support systems available. The first person I called after my mom died was a close friend whose mom died when she was only 12 years old. I instinctively knew she would know what to say and help me through it, and she did.
On the right side of this website page under Grief Support and Other Helpful Links (and in the book Begin Here: helping survivors manage available for sale on this site) there are several support systems to get you started. These organizations want to help you.
After having thought about this question a great deal, I think the toughest part for me was the absolute impossibility of a future with my parents. Peace.