Family friend died

He had advanced directives. The doctors couldn’t operate because he was too frail, and he didn’t want anything done. The son had to talk to him because apparently the way he worded it he would have not had hydration or nutrition, either. Dying of thirst would be miserable, or more miserable. So he was moved to hospice. No monitors beeping, no IVs. Just the occasional pain killer, some drinks (when he could), and a bit of oral nutrition. He lasted 5 days.

1poormom is in memory care now. Her decline is a lot slower, and could drag out for several more years. Our friend went from a surgery attempt to hospice in the span of a couple of weeks. Sad, but more merciful, I think. For everyone. His wife I think already started grieving when the surgery failed (due to his frailty), and she knew his wishes. Still, the event of death is another level, but hopefully it was a bit easier since she knew it was coming.

We managed a visit in hospice the day he expired. Literally two hours after we left. I think I would have preferred to remember him as he was, but maybe(?) he was aware of our presence? His eyes were open, but he didn’t seem to focus on anything or anyone.

I don’t think there is any relatively easier way for the family and close friends who are left behind. When it’s so fast, as with your frail elderly friend, there is little to no time to prepare—as it was with my mother. When it’s the long slow decline of your mom—as it was with my dad—it’s a series of small deaths that break your heart, but at least intellectually, we are relatively prepared for the loss.

The permanence of death is really rough to accept and deal with.