Freke de Graf moved from Holland to Russia in order to study in Moscow. She stayed for quite some time. De Graf took up a career in nursing
, focusing on care for the terminally ill. She had an interest in improving the quality of the system, which was often criticized for its lack of kindness and respect for patients. She also discovered something else: the Russian Orthodox Church.
From the article:
When she met Metropolitan Anthony (Bloom), the Russian Orthodox leader of Britain and Ireland, she decided to move to London, where the charismatic metropolitan had built up a flourishing community. “I wanted to live close to the church and the parish he led. In the end, I stayed there for 25 years. While training as a nurse, I became acquainted with the hospice movement. I saw how doctors and nurses had a certain fear for people who were dying, something I found hard to understand. Later I specialized in oncology and worked in several hospices." (...) After her mother died, she decided to return to Moscow.