My father died, aged almost 52.
There's no grieving, and I'm pretty sure that he wouldn't have wanted any, certainly not by now. There is, however, a certain sense of sadness, that he has not shared in our family life together, seen Ben grow and become able in so many ways. At the same time, I think Sarah would have broken his heart, and I'm glad he didn't have to cope with that.
But most of all I feel for my mother, having been a widow 20 years now despite marrying a man 7 years her junior: she had a sense that they would not be together a long time, and they made the most of all the time they had. She has been incredibly brave, enduring all the physical suffering as well as grief without complaint or grumbling, and with incredible graciousness.
Respecting the dead is a silly thing for the sake of the dead - it cannot make any difference to them. But for the sake of the living, there may still be a benefit. It just makes me so aware that, as people, nearly everything we do is about us, regardless of who we *say* it's for.