Today is the fourteenth day since Dad was taken to the hospital with his first stroke. He is weaker, but still happy within the jumbled world of his damaged mind. He verbalizes, although little of it makes sense and none of it is directed to us; sometimes we understand that he's talking to people from his past, sometimes I recognize his words as being directed to mother, and sometimes he seems to be asking questions of people we can't identify. The words that we recognize comprise a very small part of his overall speech, though; most of it is noises and repeated syllables.
Dad still does not respond to any visual cues; he does not respond to verbal directions nor does he reply to questions (other than making noises and occasionally a word or two that are not responsive); his physical responses (squeezing hands, etc.) are random and undirected. I saw today that his right hand is begin to draw up, with the fingers curling inward toward the wrist below the base of the palm. His face appears more sallow and drawn, but that first evidenced itself two days ago, even before the living will was invoked.
I am certain that there should be a more peaceful, compassionate means of allowing a person to die with dignity. Once advanced directives are enacted, we should be able to afford the people we love with some means of completing those wishes other than the current barbaric system that seems hypocritically unsupportive of the dying and heartlessly cruel to those survivors who are tormented by the process.
I am hopeful that I will feel happy and content at some point in the future, when I know that Dad is reunited with Mom. Right now, though, I exist in a twilight that seems unending.