I recently spoke to an inspiring individual called Deby, who has kindly shared her story with me. Deby had just moved to Portugal to retire with her husband Michael, who was a former postman. Tragically, she lost her husband last year. The process was really slow in getting a diagnosis of his death and she believes people need to be made aware of that. After going through something so traumatic, Deby has recently set up a group to help others with bereavement.

Share and Care” was born from sorrow and of one woman’s determination to help others. Deby’s background is in developing charities back in the UK and is a former politician who has raised £48,000 for charities in England.

Share and Care supports people and offers practical advice and information, even signposting you to good English-speaking solicitors. They will help by giving you information on the protocols and procedures in Portugal, “It is an emotive subject but we want to help others in the event of death occurring here in Portugal”. At the moment it is completely voluntary work by Deby and her team. “Sadly, people find themselves in this situation and do not know what to do and obviously you are still dealing with the grief, so having Share and Care to be someone you can rely on during this difficult time is so helpful, even if you just want to talk, which is why we have grief counselling set up.”

Part of her team is a lady who has retired here who a psychologist and a cognitive therapist and who has experience in grief counselling. Talking to someone who understands completely what you are going through and making people feel supported during this time is what Share and Care aims to provide, “If I had had someone to talk to and express myself during my grief cycle then I would not have felt so alone”.

This is accessible to anybody that has settled here or is on holiday and have found themselves in this situation. “I was beside myself and I know it was a devastating loss losing Michael but it was the way things were handled. The issue I am trying to put across is that when you are going through tremendous stress, anxiety, grief, you want the ball to keep rolling and I do not want anyone to go through what I went through”. She hopes that she can change how things are handled here in terms of sensitivity and understanding. She will be working closely with the British Embassy and hopes she can work on the side of the Portuguese government, as there appears to be nothing quite like this in Portugal.

Unfortunately, one of the reasons that she didn’t start it when Michael died was because she was going through an awful loss and three days before Christmas the river bank broke and her home was completely flooded and it has taken a whole year to get things rolling again but now, she is ready to give 110 percent.

Deby is currently in the process of making Portugal her permanent home as she wants to retire in a non-stressful environment. She hopes to help people due to her own experience and in the future to complete her autobiography “Determined Destiny” which all about her life.

She has turned something so heart-breaking into something that will hopefully help others. Please get in touch with Deby if you are in need of support on +351 926 865 115 or by emailing shareandcareportugal@gmail.com.