Steve’s Story

Watch Steve's video to find out how attending our Compassionate Cafés helped him cope with the loss of his partner, Samantha.

Steve’s Story

Steve’s Story

Steve’s wife, Samantha, was looked after by Rennie Grove Peace and sadly passed away in December 2020. In 2023, Steve decided to attend one of our Compassionate Cafés to help cope with his grief. He tells his story.


“So my name is Steve and I’m here today to talk about Compassionate Cafés and my experience of them and how I came to find them.

So the story starts in December 2020 when I lost my late partner Samantha to a sudden,
quick, liver cancer which absolutely sort of rocked everyone’s world around her. It was in the coming months after she passed away the Peace Hospice had offered me bereavement counselling which I accepted and found really helpful and even though the counselor expressed and said it’s probably too soon after the event for it to be any benefit, he still kindly offered the service. I felt I really needed to sort of talk to someone about it was at that point that he had mentioned Compassionate Cafés.

So we move forward two years roughly to March, April, May of 2023 and the grief really hit me and completely shattered me and I had a complete mental breakdown, isolated myself from support. Support had left me thinking I was okay as time had passed but grief doesn’t work through a time and a strategy and this was the point that the grief really hit me hard.

I battled through it and got to around June or July where I knew I needed professional help to get me through this. I couldn’t do it all on my own. So I went to a couple of places, I went to Hert’s Mind Network in Watford on St Albans Road and walked in there and self referred myself the counseling and where I was introduced to their meeting places which is a once a week group where you can go and talk and discuss with a trained counselor and it’s I use that as a therapy session while I was waiting for my Cruse bereavement counseling which had a 4 month waiting list unfortunately  and also my peer support with Hert Minds Network which was again was another three to four month waiting list so I remembered Compassionate Café and then got in touch with Susannah who kindly said that there’s a new Compassionate Café starting in Abbots Langley which is close to where I live and attended the first one there.

I wasn’t sure what I what to expect from it but knew that it was something I needed to do and I felt that I would be able to talk again give me another opportunity to talk about what I was going through and the fact that Compassionate Cafés was run from Rennie Grove and Watford Peace Hospice and where Sam had been in the last few days.

I knew that I hoped that the empathy that I would get with sharing the story would help me and it did and it was a wonderful experience meeting so many lovely volunteers.

With grief, you feel that it’s affecting you worse than anyone else. You feel that you can’t really share that with friends, families, associates because they wouldn’t understand and  having since been to Compassionate Café, I found that everyone else has felt the same and so the beauty in going to Compassionate Café is that myth is expelled straight away. You get the chance to talk to people that know exactly what you’re going through because they’ve been through it themselves and that takes such a weight off you. You feel the pressures, the head space, is clearer. It just starts the healing process…yeah I’d say starts the healing process to move forward and I certainly would recommend anyone at any time no matter how long after losing a loved one; months, years if you need to talk to someone regarding the way you’re feeling with loneliness, the solitude, your isolation, Compassionate Cafés is where I would start.”