I guess there has never been an easy way, I had one day warning that my dad was on his way out and I had to get the first plane out of Sydney to get to the country town where he lived, stayed with him all day and the next night and he passed away the next day. Its among the joys of getting older that you lose your parents which is normal and sad to say you see your friends drop off one by one. I am lucky that I live in an old area in the inner city of Sydney where I know a large number of people and both of my brothers are still going OK.
None the less I am an eternal optimist and agree with Jim that 2017 can only go up from here as change is in the air. In the UK Cameron is gone, the US is about to get a new President, Canada has already got rid of Stephen Harper, the Kiwi prime minister has just retired and sad to say we (in OZ) are still stuck with a government that is so unpopular that the electorate would vote for Ghengis Khan to get rid of them. Marine Le Pen is looking good in France and Angela Merkel is skating on thin ice in Germany.