I heard the one statement I hate to hear, too. "She's hanging on determinedly." So, once again, I have to go have a deathbed chat with a friend in a coma. I've been on the path to crossing twice, though it wasn't my time yet, so I know it's not a path to be afraid of. And hanging on isn't the best thing here, from what I hear.
Strange, but Lia and I had this alternate existance, as what we jokingly called "the Celtic Terrorist Twins." We played a couple of Irish (me) and Welsh (her) maids of all work---who were always arguing unless there were any non-Celts around, then they were the solidarity front. But part of their story was that Mary-Rose was due to die in the smallpox epidemic of '68, and Emily would faithfully bring flowers to her grave every Sunday until she finallymoved to San Jose to start a rooming house, 8 years later. I have this feeling that somehow we sensed someday I would be the one going on, and she was going to pass.
Life and death, the cycle. I'll probably run into Dori there. The pioneer foremothers corps. I think we all knew and made our peace, when we heard the diagnosis. But as Stephen said, "I'd really hoped to be in my '60's before I started losing my close friends."