My mother started going downhill about 9 years ago. She is a very talented person, could sing, cook, quilt, sew, knit, crochet, garden and she was a very intelligent woman. Then she began losing her abiltiy to do these things. She had to walk with a cane, then two canes, then she was in a wheelchair. She couldn't drive, couldn't quilt or garden. She loved to read but in time couldn't see. She couldn't have a conversation because she couldn't hear. She couldn't watch TV. She started on a knitting project that she couldn't finish because she couldn't see and became frustrated. There wasn't really anything she could do. It was very difficult to see these pleasure in her life taken away and see her in a lot of pain getting weaker and weaker. It was hard to see her taken away to a hospital and then a nursing home. I knew she was near the end of her life. She had moved in on me--her decision and I was afraid when she died it would be time for me to go a nursing home. I thought she'd live to be 100. The last few months it was obvious she wasn't going to live long. When I visited her in the nursing home the last time I don't think she knew who I was. She kept screaming at everyone. A week ago I got a phone call telling me she had died. Of course I was shocked and I was at work and immediately went home and stayed off a week to make arrangements but once the shock wore off her death wasn't that devestating to me--it was seeing her regress that was so hard for me. I believe in life after death and I also believe that there are animals in heaven and she's got a lot of animal friends.