Family: The Last Goodbye

When both parents die, middle-aged children must adjust to a new stage of life in which they become adult orphans

A few weeks ago, Janet Pincus' father died. She had looked after him for 15 years, ever since her mother passed away. Pincus, now 54, had helped him through heart attacks, a pituitary tumor and gall-bladder surgery. Two days before he died, he drifted into consciousness long enough to open his arms to his daughter, rock her in them and make one request. "Just stay with me," he said. That was their last conversation. Since his death, Pincus has tried to keep occupied. In the quiet hours, after a day spent teaching kindergarten and before her husband gets home, she sinks...

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