I’m pleased to welcome you today to my stop on the blog tour for the beautiful and moving Leaves of Love by Lucy Aykroyd. Thank you to Anne Cater and Unbound for giving me the opportunity to read and review this inspirational and thought provoking book.
About the book:
Are you a carer or companion to someone who is ageing? Are you looking to enhance every moment of their lives to the end yet feel full of trepidation at the prospect? Leaves of Love is a simple yet essential guide for both layman and expert to keep by your side as you learn the beautiful and ancient art of accompanying another over these final transitions.
Leaves of Love is laced with inspiring real-life stories that depict the rich gleanings to be found within ageing and the unexpected opportunities that can reveal themselves when we embrace the reality of our dying. These stories bring with them a tool bag of ideas and practical tips to empower the carer within all of us to value our own unique gifts and love as we have never loved before.
With nature as our guide we learn how to be present when we visit a care home, what matters most as we sit with someone and how and what to expect when we are accompanying a dying person.
About the author:
Lucy Aykroyd, a life-enhancing caregiver and end-of-life doula, raised a large family in Aberdeenshire. She paints, pots and prints, practises yoga and travels about with a massage couch. Passionate about the land and the environment, she lives out her wilderness training, disappears for hours into her garden and springs to life with her dogs on the shoreline near her East Lothian home.
Lucy celebrates her own ageing and helps others to make the most of theirs with a lightness of touch, a compassionate heart and a good smattering of humour.
This is her first independent publication. Her short stories have been included in some anthologies by The Huntly Writers.
Leaves of Love by Lucy Aykroyd is a beautiful and powerfully moving book that I know I will be going back to time and time again. Written with an empathy and understanding of death and dying very rarely seen, it gives the reader an insight into what to expect in the final moments of a loved ones life and how to support and care for someone as they approach that final transition.
It may only be a quick read but it’s a powerful one. The first half tells the real life stories of the people Lucy Aykroyd has cared for in her role as a life-enhancing caregiver and end of life doula. Beginning with Lucy’s own mother, the stories are beautifully written and incredibly moving accounts of the unexpected opportunities that can reveal themselves as people who are at the end of their lives begin to come to terms with the inevitability of their own death. These stories include ideas and practical tips to help carers do everything they can to enhance the lives of the people they care for as they approach their final days.
I have to admit that, as beautiful as it is, I found the second part of the book difficult to read. It brought emotions to the forefront of my mind that, after two significant losses in recent years, I now realise I haven’t quite come to terms with. This part of Leaves of Love talks about the practicalities of death and how to prepare for it, what to expect as the person you love or care for is in the process of dying and how to cope with the grief that inevitably follows. But even though I found it difficult to get through these chapters, they are written with such empathy and compassion that they became almost cathartic as I read them.
As a carer myself, there is so much in Leaves of Love that resonated with me. Although I’m not an end of life carer, I do care for my adult daughter who was born with a lifelong disability. Over the last couple of years she has experienced health issues that have meant months of being confined to bed, so I can fully relate to and empathise with so many of the issues talked about in this book.
Lucy Aykroyd’s words are beautiful, poignant and life-affirming. Leaves of Love is an inspirational and thought provoking read that I know I will revisit often in the future.
An emotive, beautifully written book that I would highly recommend.
Leaves of Love by Lucy Aykroyd is available to purchase now: Amazon UK
Check out what these other wonderful bloggers have to say about this book: