Close to people | Stories from Bethel

Homesick for the hospice

Sometimes life takes an extra turn. Sigrun Klinke was diagnosed with bowel cancer a few years ago. Incurable. She had found a place in the Lazarus Hospice, a Bethel facility in Berlin. Nobody believed that she would come home again. But Sigrun Klinke soon felt better at the hospice. The nurses and carers asked about her wishes, had time for conversations and walks. "When the fear that things would get worse again subsided, I felt like I was in a hotel," says Sigrun Klinke, smiling gently.

She was stable enough to return home. Being cooked for by her husband does her good. But strangely, she seems to have become invisible to her neighbours. "Nobody asked me: how come you're back?" says the 82-year-old. Her husband intervenes: "You don't get the questions, but I get asked all the time!" Fear of contact with dying.

"How nice it is to feel so cared for. It's a kind of homesickness that sometimes strikes me for this care."
Sigrun Klinke

After her discharge, Sigrun Klinke wrote a letter of thanks to the hospice team. She wrote about how beneficial it was for her to interrupt her stay, but also what she missed afterwards: "That someone would enquire about a good or bad night's sleep and the call would come from the kitchen: breakfast as usual?" And further: "How nice it is to feel so noticed. It's a kind of homesickness that sometimes strikes me after this care. Crazy, isn't it?"

Sigrun Klinke enjoys her life at home as much as she can. Her granddaughter often comes round, with whom she can cook and talk. But the worry remains. One consolation for her is that she already knows the hospice. In her letter she wrote: "At least I'm not afraid to go back, because I know how good it will be for me here. Sigrun Klinke greets you from the bottom of her heart."

Text: Katharina Müller-Güldemeister | Photos: Andrea Vollmer

This story simply told

Sigrun Klinke has bowel cancer and was in the Lazarus Hospice in Berlin. She felt surprisingly better there. She felt like she was in a hotel because the people there looked after her so well. Then she was able to return home. Now she is at home and feels reassured because she knows that she can return to the hospice if necessary.

Would you like to find out more?


Lazarus Hospice Berlin
Bernauerstrasse 115-118
13355 Berlin

030 46705 550

To the website of the organisation

Offers & services

The inpatient Lazarus Hospice in Bernauer Straße in Berlin Mitte offers seriously ill and dying people a place where a self-determined and dignified life is possible until the end.

The outpatient hospice service is committed to providing loving care for seriously ill and dying people and their relatives and loved ones, including supporting their wish to live out their last weeks and months in their own home.

Close to people

More stories from Bethel

Topics | Mental illnesses, Bielefeld

"For me, plastic is also just a material"

"For me, plastic is also just a material"

Topics | Hospital, Bielefeld

Important help in a foreign country

Important help in a foreign country
Mats-Till wird im Rollstuhl von seinem Bruder durch einen Flur im Kinder- und Jugendhospiz Bethel geschoben.

Topics | Hospice, Bielefeld

The racetrack is also fun on wheels

The racetrack is also fun on wheels
Zwei Frauen und ihre Kinder lachen gemeinsam.

On the run and pregnant - at 17

On the run and pregnant - at 17
Sonja Schüler und Benjamin Stücke stehen an der Bar und lächeln in die Kamera

Topics | Working at Bethel, Bielefeld

Kitchen fairy in Plan B

Kitchen fairy in Plan B

Press contact

Press + Communication

Looking for help?

Are you or a relative dependent on help or assistance and looking for support?

Would you like to help?

There are many ways to help at Bethel. We are happy about any support!