Book Review: "Memories in Dragonfilies: Simple Lessons for Mindful Dying" by Lannette Cornell Bloom

Book Review: "Memories in Dragonfilies: Simple Lessons for Mindful Dying" by Lannette Cornell Bloom

Reviewed by Kathy Bezinovich RN, Caregiver Consultant and Educator, Dementia Care Practitioner

Lannette recounts her story as the primary caregiver for her mother who was diagnosed with pulmonary fibrosis. The five year journey covers Lannette’s personal  revelations beginning with the importance of mindfulness. Through structuring her life around providing for her mother’s needs, and trying to maintain a sense of normalcy, when everything but normalcy is surrounding them, Lannette expresses her new found appreciation for the little things in life; the small acts of loving kindness, and the sacredness of sharing one of life’s most intimate journeys.

Anyone who is or has been a caregiver for a significant other could relate to Lannette’s stories. Lannette discusses the difficulties she encounters in re-organizing her life, her struggles and successes in assisting her mother to maintain her dignity until her death, the pain she experiences witnessing her mother’s progressive decline, and the various emotions experienced by herself and her sister during those five years.

At the end of life, hospice is brought into the picture, and Lannette reveals the positive benefits derived from their services; from pain control and comfort care for her mother, to assisting Lannette’s family establish a safe space for her mother to speak about her fears, and end of life wishes. The final story describes her mother’s dignified,natural, peaceful death, and a greater understanding of what can be expected to happen when someone is dying.