even though i already knew i did everything right, it's nice to have confirmation.
the article contradicts itself as the author seeks absolution by summarizing:
that trajectory, alas, is unknown and unknowable but for its certain ending. So every decision we made — residential, medical, financial — was a crapshoot
yet the author had previously stated that...
many of our crises might have been avoided. Those include unnecessary trips to the emergency room that left her in worse shape than she had been beforehand...told me that no doctor familiar with the physiology and psychology of the elderly would have operated on her without at least a discussion of the special risks to the aged
so crapshoot or improper research and lack of effort? didn't know an operation is risky in old age? i wouldn't be surprised to learn that the author put more time and effort and research into her child's daycare center.
one of the many difficult things about geriatric care is that the parent becomes the child who is not growing up but who is dying. so there is deprogramming to be done yet not much time to relearn and assume a reversed role.
this is not the child into whom you put lots of effort so that they might go off and live a long and fruitful life. this is not even the child who might be dying and into whom you would breathe your last breath in a last hope that the child might live beyond these days.
rather, this is the child who will only deteriorate further so that even with all of your efforts this person winds up in the grave and not even your last breath has a prayer of a chance to stop that. yet this is not your child; but your parent.
you give and give and give into the abyss. it is more difficult than raising a child because you get nothing back. there is no hope of cure; this is the end of life. you can only take comfort knowing that you've done all you can to palliate suffering. if only you had hope; you poor child, because knowledge isn't enough.