I lost my husband in November of 2005. He had been diagnosed about 15 months before. I was not working and am soooo thankful I had time with him. Take off work and spend time with your loved ones. You will never get the time back and you will never regret it. I would imagine your loved ones know what is happening to them. It is hard to talk about it but they probably know deep down that they don't have a lot of time. I am very comforted by the fact that my husband and I spent a year hoping for the best but also talking about the what-ifs. He kept fighting to the very end but he was also prepared. He did not give up or lose his spirit even though he knew it was getting bad. The end happened very quickly for my husband and it was very peaceful. There are some signs you can watch for, losing weight, not eating, getting disoriented, etc. There are some good books on hospice and end of life issues which may help you recognize what's happening. The doctors and, especially the nurses, can also help you. Don't be afraid to ask how long they have or find out what is happening. I wish you all the best.