Hospice workers experience patients’ deaths on a regular basis. The frequency of these experiences can sometimes cause the individuality of each death to be overshadowed by the totality of them all. Al Poeppel, a hospice volunteer, has found a special way to honor each of his departed patients during the Christmas season.
The outdoor Christmas remembrance tree created by Poeppel is his labor of love. The decorated tree celebrates his deceased patients, supports their families, and encourages introspection among the general public admiring the impressive tree as they drive by. Each tree ornament bears a deceased patient’s name that helps Poeppel reflect on the times he shared with that person. Poeppel thinks families appreciate knowing that their loved ones are remembered. He also hopes that the tree reminds others of the importance of making the most of life.
In this video, you can view Poeppel’s amazing Christmas remembrance tree and hear his heartwarming story.
Season’s greetings to all of you who read my two-year-old blog. I hope the new year brings you many rainbow smiles.
Frances Shani Parker, Author
"Becoming Dead Right: A Hospice Volunteer in Urban Nursing Homes”
“Hospice and Nursing Homes Blog”