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“That Little Blue Book” by Jessica Duffy, former HSM Gosnell Memorial Hospice House Director

Most people have heard of “the little black book” or “the little black dress.”  In hospice, the families frequently comment on the “little blue book.” The book they are referring to is Gone From My Sight written by Barbara Karnes, RN. This “little blue book” is filled with valuable real-life information on what happens at the end of life and is written in a way which everyone can understand.

Conversations surrounding end of life are often the most difficult conversations patients and families ever have to have. Sometimes there are questions that are painful to ask or sometimes you just plain don’t know what to ask.

Barbara Karnes’ book discusses what happens from one to three months prior to death up until days and hours. It describes the physical changes that are often witnessed. One of the questions we always hear as hospice employees is “how long?” So often in life we are able to control situations, death is one that we have no control over. There is no definitive answer to the question of “how long”, because we do not get to decide. What we can look to for guidance is the typical physical changes that occur at the end of life and this book does a great job of guiding families through this.

This “little blue book,” Gone From My Sight, is available for all Hospice of Southern Maine patients and is provided in every room at the Gosnell Memorial Hospice House, in English, French or Spanish.

For more information or to purchase your own copy, you can visit Karne’s website at www.bkbooks.com.

Written by former HSM Gosnell Memorial Hospice House Director, Jessica Duffy


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