Bereavement Cafe

How it all started

Working as a Life Celebrant, I am acutely aware of how grief affects people.

But walking away after the funeral service was done, didn’t sit comfortably with me, and I kept in touch with those that wanted to, as a way of offering some kind of aftercare service.

Thankfully, the Funeral Directors that I work with, Valentine & Turner,  are an amazing bunch of forward thinking individuals, and together we decided to start up The Bereavement Café.

The idea was to offer a completely free, drop in group, on a once a month basis, to those who were suffering with grief.

TheBerCaf - Bereavement Cafe

We got in touch with some fantastic bereavement counsellors, who offered to help us for free, and have now found a home for our café, at Orpington Village Hall. We meet once a month, on the last Thursday of the month, between 11.30am and 1.30pm.

The meeting can be a way of meeting other people in the same situation as you, or if you feel that 1 to 1 help from a qualified bereavement counsellor is what you need, then we are there for that too.

Since we started in November 2017, each month the meetings have grown, and we are starting to see that there is a real need for our group, within the community in Orpington.

We offer a place to come, where you can talk, listen or just be there. Grief is a heavy coat that is not a one-size fits all. We don’t claim to have all the answers, but we do offer to listen and care, that is sometimes, all that is required.


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Thank you so much for conducting Ben’s ceremony; for your kindness and sensitivity towards all of us that love and miss Ben, and for the compassion that you brought with his Eulogy, and the wonderful opening and closing words. You are a remarkable human being, with gratitude and best wishes....

I just want to thank you so much for the service you have done for my son, Clinton, you did an amazing service, thank you.

Thank you so much for the amazing tribute you wrote, with the help of our ramblings! We really cannot express out gratitude to you enough, everyone spoke about how beautiful the service was, and the words spoken.

Michelle, thank you for a lovely service, we honestly cant thank you enough for the support you have given us through this difficult time, and helping us give Nan the send off she deserved.

Oh Michelle, honestly it was everything myself and our family had hoped for. Truly you captured everything we had said, when we spoke to you and more.

Michelle, I just wanted to thank you for the lovely way you conducted Dad’s funeral, albeit only a few of us there, everyone was of the same opinion. Your introduction and in particular the reference to the comfortable slippers summed up our feelings perfectly.

Michelle, we want to express our thanks once more for all your efforts yesterday. The service you delivered really helped us come to terms with our loss. Thank you for your patience and understanding.

Thank you for your heart-felt narrative, spoken at my Mum’s funeral. I thought it was lovely, warm and affectionate, you also captured Mum exactly as she was. Everyone has mentioned how beautiful and touching the service was – kindest regards

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