Apostles James and John stayed in Jerusalem after the death, resurrection and ascension of Jesus. Their mother who had supported Jesus’ mission had probably gone back to Galilee to care for her husband Zebedee.
Simon was given the new name of Peter by Jesus and appointed as head of the early church of Jerusalem. Peter generally went around with John. John’s brother James was martyred early on. The apostle James was beheaded under orders from Herod Agrippa in AD 44 for following The Way. James, the brother of Jesus also remained living in Jerusalem and was prominent in administration of the early church.
Mary lived in the household of John, and not the household of brother James in Jerusalem – if Jesus’ brother James had been Mary’s actual son, she would have lived in his house. Her house with the apostle John was in the Kidron Valley, at Gethsemane below the Mount of Olives. This is known because the Church of the Sepulchre of Saint Mary was built there. During the first centuries AD many pilgrims went to see her empty tomb which was situated at the house because a miracle had occurred at this tomb.
If Mary was aged about 30 when she had Jesus, then she would be about 63 when he was crucified. She may then have lived for another 15 years and died aged about 78 in about AD 48 of natural causes. She died before the Apostolic Council of AD 51 took place.
Mary chose to live at Gethsemane, the place of the garden where Jesus had prayed in his last hours when his sweat had turned to blood, the place of his arrest in the hours of darkness. But above the garden was the hillside from which he had ascended to return to the Father. Simeon, in the Temple, had prophesied that a sword would pierce Mary’s heart (Luke 2:25-35). Mary lived with this sword for the remainder of her life. However, through forgiveness of the perpetrators of a very great wrong, a person can know mystical union with God.
John knew Jesus and how he thought like no one else did, he was the beloved disciple. But knowing Jesus so well also came to him through caring for Mary until she died. When you stay with parents until they die, you take on what they were.