I have been the sole caregiver to my aging parent, mother age 86, who has been on a very long road to recovery from heart surgery during 2009 and has been living with me and my roommate since October 2011. A few days ago, one of my best friends informed me that her mother has passed away. This was a shock as no one expected this. Her mother was a very active senior until recently but I always thought how lucky my friend is that she can have her own life and visit her mom but not have to be a 24/7 caregiver. Quite honestly, although I do not feel I am a "jealous" person, I envied my friend's independence and her being able to travel and enjoy life. So this has given me a "reality" check. Life is precious and although I get the typical caregiver emotions (depression/anger/resentment) I am trying very hard to deal with those emotions and remain grateful that my mom is doing so much better but will never again be able to live independently. It's very difficult. I work full-time and frankly just want the freedom to take some vacations but this is all finite and will not be my life forever. I am 62 and pretty healthy. My life is ho hum with an aging parent living with me and never what I ever expected. I just hope that I can remember this recent reality check. It will help me to keep things in perspective. I feel so sad for my friend and kind of guilty that I have so wondered how I could be as fortunate as she who seemingly to me has it all (looks/finances/intelligence) etc. Now her mother is being buried this weekend and my mom is downstairs doing very well. Just wanted to share this with the support group and to also thank you all for your posts and for being there.