I just re-read some of my posts from last January, when we were at the beginning of the end for Mum. I'm reading about my agonizing decisions, and the pro and con feeding tube arguments, and in light of what the autopsy showed I was absolutely right, and I am so grateful for that. Mum had Alzheimer's, Lewy Body disease (which causes hallucinations and probably accounts for her belief that everything in the air and water was poisonous), and lots of small bleeds throughout her brain. We don't know when the hemmorhaging started, but it probably (says the report) accounts for the rapidity of the decline. From October though January, if I had to guess, because that's when the deterioration got really fast.
There would have been no extension of life with a tube, and she really was actively dying from multiple conditions all interacting. Thank God and all our friends and family for the support and love we received. When I remember that time my most vivid memories are the smell of hospital tubing and disinfectant, the ticking and beeping of all the machines. And the waxy, alert but uncomprehending, stare of my mother's eyes.
I decided on the writing for her gravestone this week. It will say her name and her dates, and "All shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well". Because it is, and it will, even though I can't see it now.