Sam and Mike's story

“My husband Mike died after a 13 year illness with a rare and incurable cancer aged just 60. We were cared for by Dove House throughout the pandemic and he then chose to come to the hospice for his final days where he died peacefully in my arms.
I don’t know how we would have survived without Dr Rachael, the hospice’s Consultant, she was absolutely incredible. I am extremely grateful that she helped Mike with pain management, navigated us through the most difficult time and showed us how to have impossible conversations that you’re never prepared for no matter where you are at with a terminal diagnosis. Dove House really made it the best possible death it could have been, which sounds odd but I was able to be with him, hold and cuddle him until the end. Our children, age 17 and 15 now, and I were able to say our goodbyes – in the midst of a pandemic this has become a luxury that most families in hospital are not afforded.
Grief can be so incredibly lonely, despite being surrounded by the most amazing friends and family I feel the need for more. Everyone’s been a great support, but they don’t know how it truly feels to lose the other half of you and be constantly reminded of my grief every time I see his things laying around the house. My desire is to find others like me, who know what the grief I am feeling is like, to know I am not alone in that. I am the founder of a local charity called Fitmums and Friends and I am going to join with Dove House to launch a much-needed new service to support bereaved families through the development of a grief walk. A chance for families to meet other people who understand what you go through when you lose a loved one. Bereavement can be very isolating, especially due to Covid-19 restrictions. But the hope is for walking to bridge the gap between bereavement and isolation while reaping the benefits of exercise, making friends and acquiring a new tool to help cope.
Walking and talking can be a distraction but it can also be less daunting for some to attend than a support group where you might need to find your voice to talk in front of others. The principle of Fitmums and Friends is to make people feel comfortable before they join, this will be exactly the same here. The Bereavement Walking Group is a fantastic legacy, Mike would be so happy to know that he is still helping people.”
For more information on The Bereavement Walking Group please visit