Hi I'm Graham, I am the head chef at St Elizabeth Hospice in Ipswich.
Although I look like a big guy, I really am a big softy when it comes to Christmas. Making sure the patients are having a good experience is so important.
One Christmas I was approached by the husband of a patient. He explained that his wife's family were coming over from New Zealand and as this would be their last Christmas together, he wanted it to be special for his dear wife. So we sat and planned a menu, the dining room was all laid out like a proper Christmas dinner with crackers. The guests arrived, they were amazing, and the patients bed was wheeled up from the inpatient unit. The laughter, stories and togetherness was so humbling. One small dinner that meant so much.
That night his dear wife passed away quietly in her sleep surrounded by her family.
To me, this story summarises Christmas at the hospice. We make the end of life as special as the new life.