My beloved has struggled for about 18 months. A handsome man, relatively young with no underlying problems apart from dementia. Never on any medications. He died last week, and went through the terrible breathing thing - silence, then gasping breaths, silence again. When he died he opened his eyes wide, and you do wonder about life flashing before your eyes etc. It has struck me it is a cliche but when you die, you do die alone. Many of us become used to helping, being an advocate, smoothing their path, but in the end, we need to let them go which is so hard when you are so attuned to help. I'm struggling with that. Our nurses gave him morphine and a muscle relaxant, forbade me from giving him water - and I hope he floated off in a blissful haze, but it didn't sound like it to me. The doctor said he probably didn't suffer, but how do any of us know really? The nurse seemed more honest and indicated he may have been in pain. I suppose it didn't last long in the end - unconscious for about a day, and died early in the morning as seems often to be the case. He didn't really seem to respond when I played music and stroked his head. Like others, I really don't know why they don't permit euthanasia. There is no coming back from that state and it just seems unnecessary suffering. It all sucks - and aroha (Maori word for love/spirit) to all of us struggling with the deaths of our loved ones from this horrible illness. Kia kaha (stay strong).