ABOUT Memories in Dragonflies

Life—and death—may be hard; but joy is simple.

Lannette Cornell Bloom, a typical overworked nurse, wife, and mom of two, was forty-three when her mother was diagnosed with pulmonary fibrosis. She quit her job and dove headlong into the familiar role of caretaking. This choice—to slow down and be present for the hardest year of her life—resulted in an awakening. In unexpected moments, as childhood memories flooded into the present, Lannette glimpsed bits of magic that existed just beyond the pain. Without knowing it, she was experiencing a mindful dying process with her mother—and it was a journey that would change the way she lived the rest of her life.

A touching and soulful memoir that gracefully uncovers the beauty that is often lost within the dying process, Memories in Dragonflies is a beautiful portrait of what it means to be human and a gentle reminder to enjoy every moment, because even the simplest ones bring lasting joy.

TALKING POINTS

  • Lannette writes of “mindful dying”: advice to family members entering the caregiving experience with their own parents or loved ones
  • Advice to those new to caregiving: “no one way to move through this process”
  • When an adult child becomes a caregiver for his/her parent – navigating this shift in roles
  • The role that hospice care plays in the lives of those dealing with terminal illness
  • How can caregivers balance the opposing poles of the experience: nurturing the sick while holding onto their own independence and health, the anguish of pending death v. the miracle of life?

PRAISE FOR THE BOOK

“Bloom has created an emotionally powerful story. Through her recollections she has eloquently captured the complex feelings many nurses experience—both the joys and the burden of caring for someone at the end of life. The memories Bloom shares allow us to learn about the person her mother was and the person Bloom is; and we connect with both on a very human level. It should be required reading for nursing students.” – Catherine M. Todero, PhD, RN, FAAN, Dean of Creighton University’s College of Nursing

“In her book, Memories in Dragonflies, author Lannette Cornell Bloom, takes us on a very personal and poignant journey. It is the author’s story of her mother and her experience helping her to die with dignity. This ultimate role reversal where an adult daughter becomes her mother’s caregiver is one readers will relate to and want to follow. She shares how her mother’s illness impacts her entire family and how they all have to come to terms with her impending death. Along the way her mother’s strength guides them as they learn to comfort, love, and support each other every step along the way.” – Iris Waichler, MSW, LCSW, author of Role Reversal, How to Take Care of Yourself and Your Aging Parents

“In her beautifully written memoir, Lannette Cornell Bloom shares the emotional story of caregiving for her mother who is slowly dying. You become immersed in Bloom’s world of caregiving and memories that brings to light the challenges and simple joys during this difficult time. I recommend this book to any caregiver, family member, or friend who is dealing with a dying loved one or recent loss, which will serve as an opening to reflection on your own experiences.” – Diane L. Schneider, MD, geriatrician, and author of The Complete Book of Bone Health

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Lannette Cornell Bloom is passionate about bringing simple joys to others. As a Registered Nurse and health practitioner of more than 32 years, Lannette has seen first hand the need to care for others, both emotionally and physically. When her mother was diagnosed with a terminal illness in 2003, she came to understand how critical it is that we talk about death in a more positive way and see that emotional healing is possible through mindful choices. She now shares her story and that wisdom in her book, Memories in Dragonflies, Simple Lessons for Mindful Dying.

Lannette has always been aware of an internal guiding presence that helps her assess and connect with others. When she was younger, she described it as a gut feeling. Only after her mom became terminally ill, and through the process of caregiving, did Lannette learn to define that feeling as intuition. Since then, she has grown steadfast in listening to that intuition and her spirituality.

Though her parents raised her to be a tough, independent woman, she’s always felt compelled by her nurturing and empathetic nature to help people. Embracing both her strength and softness, Lannette has been able to care for people in many different ways.

She believes in the trickle-down effect; helping someone so that they in turn are able to help someone else in need. She tries to give as much and as often as she can, everyday using this positive energy to nurture both herself and those she helps. Lannette fosters creativity in others and uses creativity in all aspects of her life. She believes in celebrating life to the fullest no matter what your situation.

She currently lives in La Jolla, CA with her husband and two pugs.