Leaves Of Love: Stories for Ageing & Dying Well

By Lucy Aykroyd

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True stories of ageing and dying well gleaned from a life enhancing care giver & end of life Doula

Publication date: August 2020
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About the book

Leaves of Love… a small book of heart-warming and sometimes heart-wrenching true stories gleaned from my role as a life enhancing care giver and end of life doula. I have gathered them into one beautiful and accessible little volume, a companion in your pocket for those longing for ideas to enhance the life of an aging friend or relative, or who lack confidence and courage to accompany someone approaching the end of their life.

Story is a great teacher it has the capacity to show us the way, even when times are dark

The necessity of a book like Leaves of Love has emerged thanks to our age denying, death defying culture and the all-powerful medical system that ensures most of our elders are cared for by strangers and our dying, rarely happens at home. To live out our carefully gained later years, with a feeling of abandonment, the ache of loss, bored and lonely is the most tragic and largely unacknowledged outcome of ‘progress’ in medicine; role models in the gentle art of coming in close, listening with attention and loving deeply are a rarity.

A great consolation can be given to the very ill simply by touching their hands, gently massaging them, or holding them in your arms…’

Sogyal Rinpoche

The overall principles outlined within these pages are deceptively simple – a small bag of everyday items such as soap, soft towel, hair brush, along with a CD player, carefully selected music and beautiful photographs, are perhaps all we will need to get started. A creative imagination and empathetic heart will also help. Each story in this book comes with pointers that remind us as to what else might be most useful in specific situations.

Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited.’

Albert Einstein

One of the fundamental messages in Leaves of Love is the importance of living each day with appreciation, taking every opportunity to learn something new, and allowing every letting-go and good bye be a practice run for the real thing. Nature effects these transitions every day before our eyes, but we seem to be surprised when our time comes.

It is the twilight zone between past, present and future that is the precarious world of transformation’

Marion Woodman

Finally Leaves of Love touches on signs of dying, what to look for and what to do when accompanying someone as they die. It also suggests some ideas for laying out a body, possible rituals and the importance of grieving.

It’s such a secret place, the land of tears.’

Antoine Saint Exupery

It addresses the importance of having those awkward conversations about Wills, Advance Care Plans and Resuscitation and funerals, but as a layman’s guide only suggests links for you to further your own understanding and make personal choices. 

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