27 Comments

I pretty much had to hold back tears throughout the whole article. I have personal experiences of feeding a dearly loved parent to the end of their life and this brought back memories which are tender to touch. It must have taken courage to write about something so personal and painful so thank you for sharing, Robin.

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Thank you for this. For my mum, who died in 2022 after two strokes, we did hospice at home. In her final week she refused everything but root beer floats. We make them on the anniversary of her death: place two huge scoops of vanilla Haagen Dazs in a tall glass, then slowly pour over one can of A&W or Barq’s root beer until the glass is full or the can is empty.

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I am a doctor who encounters death on a fairly regular basis (although I am not a specialist in palliative care), and a daughter who nursed her father at the end of his life last year. The desire to nurture the people we love with food does not disappear at this time, even when appetites wane. Thank you for writing this article.

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We lost my Nana in a hospice recently and seeing her appetite wane was the most upsetting thing. Her cooking and her appetite and her keenness to fill us up with sweetness was so central to her personality. Not being able to cook or eat in the last year of her life must have been so upsetting for her. I’ll cook something she’d love tonight. Thank you for this lovely piece, I’m in floods.

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This reduced me to tears. I lived with my mum for the last 6 months of her life, much of which was spent deciding what to cook and recreating tastes from her childhood in Poland. Towards the end her appetite failed, and even that form of communication closed down. By some miracle, I got our butcher to find some pigs trotters which I never got to cook for her, and now they lie in my freezer as a reminder of that time.

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I love you.

It will end.

Must make some trifle for my dad.

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Absolutely beautiful as always Robin, and feels personal. My grandma is dying and I’m coming to terms with how much of her love and care for me was expressed through food. To be charged with tipping a cup of milk and honey into mouth earlier this week felt like repaying her love, an immense privilege

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My mother's drink of choice at the end of her life was Liptons peach iced tea, something she had never liked before. I suspect it was simply because it was sweet and wasn't water (she didn't like plain water). I fed her teaspoons of yogurt and honey as well which she had always loved. This is such a lovely essay about an important subject - food for people who are dying can be a wonderful thing, tiny little bits full of flavour and memories.

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A beautiful piece of writing which left me in tears.

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Thank you. Really beautiful.

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Incredibly touching. Thank you for writing it.

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Beautiful x

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How very poignant. The role of food in our lives are so powerful. I miss my grandmother and all her wonderful food but what I miss the most is the ability to cook with her. thank you for sharing this.

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This is really beautiful thank you

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This was beautiful to read, six months ago my family nursed my father through the hospice process and while eating was a struggle he wanted one last sip of white wine before he died, which we were happy to provide. Interestingly he also became obsessed with the great British baking show, and we watched hours of with him all together in the living room. Sweet memories, thanks for sharing yours.

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Thank you so much for writing and sharing this

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