Thank you for your experience Jane. It is helpful to know of other experiences. But we need to remember that each experience is unique. My Dad's decline took 6 months. My grand mother's started with a stroke and took over a year to reach the end. Yet some are gone very quickly.
The food issue is common at the end with dementia. The brain forgets. It forgets new experiences, then the older memories. It forgets where the bathroom is and how to use it, it forgets how to swallow and how to digest food. My Dad was actually eating but losing weight rapidly. In that last 6 months he lost from 184 down to 125 pounds despite the fact that food was going in. He ate scrambled eggs on Tuesday before he died on Friday. It was obvious that though he was still able to eat, he was not processing what went in.
I will say that I was so thankful for the help of Hospice. They were amazing, a wealth of information about Dad in particular because of his symptoms, and a great support to the family.
As for the feeding tube, I also chose not to go that route. Mom and Dad both have living wills which state that they do not want such measures. I also knew that it was useless to feed through a tube when it was not being process properly. I left Dad to higher powers. Now he is my angel
I do hope you find comfort in your grief knowing that you did all that was possible for your MIL. Each of us has a time on this earth to do the best we can and then we leave our mark on others when we leave. Carry your MIL in your heart. Take the best that she was and make it better