The Book

Leaves of Love, stories for ageing and dying well… 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 ageing friend or relative, or who lack confidence and courage to accompany someone approaching the end of their life.

Please follow the tabs above to learn more about Leaves of Love, stories for ageing and dying well,  and its valuable contribution to enhancing the care of those we love.

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

I hope you will feel inspired to support the publication of this book by going to the Crowdfunding page and being part of the project. A unique opportunity to promote important new writing and have your name in print!

The Stories


The overall principles outlined by the stories 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.

“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


Ageing and Dying

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.

Dying is the only experience we will all share. It makes sense to learn about it, prepare for it and make it as good as it possibly can be, while we can. Between  ‘knowing and going’ can be a time of great transformation.

“It is the twilight zone between past, present and future that is the precarious world of transformation.”
Marion Woodman



And 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.

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

It’s such a secret place, the land of tears.”
Antoine Saint Exupery

Illustrated with original lino cuts throughout, Leaves of Love is a book of beauty to treasure. A pebble in your pocket  when exploring new avenues for offering care  yourself or when needing  that important  gift for another who is.

About Me

Leaves of Love is written by Lucy Merlin Aykroyd, a life enhancing care giver and end of life Doula. As an artist, masseuse and yoga practitioner she incorporates these attributes into her work, alongside her passion for nature connection and the environment.

Mother and grandmother, Lucy lives in her small cottage on the long wild coastline of East Lothian,  continually celebrating the  simplicity and natural beauty around her.

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