My dad died 24 years ago and you know what iwas coping fine. However 2 years ago i lost my mum., since than i have found the loss of my dad so much harder to bear. I have cried on buses when i overheard grandparents talk abot their gc not helped by the fact my dad has never met any of my dc dc and my mum only thr 1st two. Mothets day has always been hard as my mum's anniversary is close to that time but strangely fathers day has been tough too. SympThy to all with losses.
My parents both died many years ago, and I still miss them savagely. I don't do the waking up thing that you mention, OP, but I do cry for them sometimes and that can feel intense and painful. I love and appreciate them more now as I age than I did when I was young.
I think you're right, it is a primal pain and loss.
When my parents died it didn't hit me at the time although looking back I think that was a trauma reaction. It took years for the grief to start to come out and although I accept they're gone, I'm still grieving and always will I think.
Sorry for your loss, OP, and to everyone else on here
Wake up in the middle of the night, unable to breathe with the grief & loss? It's happened to me a few times over the last few months,so bad that on a couple of occasions I've had to get out of the house in the back garden for fresh air to really control my breathing. The overwhelming sense of loss is crippling.
I suppose that primal sense of loss never goes away.