I totally feel it when you say you lost him years before his death date. It’s terrible. My loss still feels so fresh. Thanks for mentioning your grandfather; it is a comfort to know someone else knows what it’s like.
It was basically the end of flowers for Algernon on a longer time scale.
I don't know what the US law is, but in the UK at least even flying to Dignitas (for example) with someone is legally not kosher. I didn't pry but I think this situation lead to a suicide in my family also (attributing a single cause to a suicide is usually not a good idea so I won't ponder, other than that it wasn't clean or dignified.)
I think the same argument can be made for terminal illnesses also but I think the issue there is extreme pain rather than loss of mental faculties which is potentially not the same thing in the eyes of a court.
It's terrifying watch him lose his memories week by week.
It is a completely different world. You've heard the words - "cancer", "Alzheimer's", "stroke", and others - but you literally can't imagine the scale of suffering involved until you find out first hand.
I'm not sure people aren't willing to talk about to them. It may be that most people simply don't have the experience, and so are happy living their lives until this other world comes knocking.
I suspect it would make a huge difference to many things - not least health care funding - if there was more awareness of what these words mean.
I remember how he describes this different world and also how mistaken the popular notion of „fighting cancer“ seemed to him when in reality it is a passive suffering.