Update to this post— my Mom passed away a few hours ago. We didn’t expect it quite this fast, but we knew it was coming.
The hospice left a booklet on dying, and I was surprised to learn that the kind of withdrawal from the world that I described in the last post is very common. The person kind of zones out from the world– perhaps a lot more is going on in the mind.
I’m afraid it’s going to be very hard on my Dad, not only because they’ve been together for so long, but because he’s been acting for years as her caregiver, and that role is gone. As I mentioned, sometimes great optimism is a source of strength, sometimes it’s probably a disadvantage.