I held her hand a lot, stroked her head, just touched. I know the body responds to these things. We watched her sinking before our eyes. Several times, she stopped breathing, but it was faking us out, drawing another shuddering breath just as we were going to check vital signs. But she still held on. We began to joke she was smirking in there somewhere, going "Ha, ha, faked you out!" It was like her.
Everyone, including her husband, made a final decision. We think she will pass in the middle of the night. We went home, as the hospital began to close up shop. Her breathing had slowed to a few labored breaths with long pauses. I wanted to stay to the last, but I had no idea of when the last would be, and my practical side realized I and my life must go on, too. Sigh, I'm getting old, and know my limits, much as I may not like them. And yet, being the practical soul she always was, I think she would have scolded us from the beyond, for being sentimental ninnies, if we had done otherwise.
Thus passes a great lady, and a great friend. The world is a little smaller