Sunday, December 16, 2012

Christmas Tree Memorial for Deceased Hospice Patients (Video 2:57)

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 memorial 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.

Happy holidays to all of you. I hope the new year brings you every flavor of joy. In this video, you can view Poeppel’s amazing Christmas tree and hear his heartwarming story.

Frances Shani Parker, Author
Becoming Dead Right: A Hospice Volunteer in Urban Nursing Homes is available in paperback and e-book editions in America and other countries at online and offline booksellers.
Hospice and Nursing Homes Blog


  1. I admire hospice workers especially when it is voluntary.

    1. Although hospice volunteers are voluntary workers, good service is always win-win for volunteers and recipients of service.