I am touched by all the responses of love and support. I loved that you shared your stories of loss with me. To all of you I send my love, prayers and thanks. It is amazing that death can sometimes be predicted within a day and yet someone can live so long after several strokes. As a nurse I sometimes wonder why? and often I feel that it is because modern medicine has interfered with the natural cycles of living and dying and doctors and families don't allow death to occur when it would have. If we could see death not as the enemy and a defeat, but a blessing and a part of life. It is hard when it is your own family. I had 3 grandparents in nursing homes from 1 to 10 years. The 4th died within 3 days of becoming ill, surrounded by family and having been active and mentally alert and living at home until the end. I wish that is how all 4 could have died and how I hope my parents die. Unfortunately we don't always get to have it the way we want.