The expected things in life hurt more at first than the unexpected. When an unexpected event happens your mind blocks you from it for a while–it’s the magic of a human mind. It helps you cope, and then, when you are finally ready (which may be never) your memories will come back to you. By then, your pain will be marginally less.
When you are at a loved one’s death bed, knowing they are going to die, nothing really sinks in. You think, when their time comes it won’t hurt as much. It hurts worse because, in your expectation, you don’t realize that they will be gone. It doesn’t hit you until later, and your mind normally doesn’t protect you from that.
Like, my family knew that our cat of 15 years companionship was going to die. It hurt really bad when he was put down. I cried all day. Now, that he’s gone, I don’t feel anything. It’s like an old friend that you haven’t seen in a really long time, and never will see again. I honestly don’t think that death really ever sets in, because if it did, we would be wrecks.