The British Benevolent Fund: Life after loss

The British Benevolent Fund: Life after loss

Image: JGA/

The death of a life partner is traumatic enough, sometimes made far worse by financial worries.

Peter and Gillian had been married for 30 years when they moved to Spain after retiring.

They both found a new life with new friends and enjoyed new hobbies. He learned fishing and she learned Spanish.

One spring morning Peter went fishing in the mountain streams that were full from the previous weeks’ rain.

Gillian called his mobile when he didn’t arrive to help prepare the lunch, they had planned that day at the house, but he didn’t answer.

She was beginning to worry when her phone rang – it was Peter´s number calling.

She immediately picked up and was about to speak when a voice asked in broken English if she knew a person called Peter.

It was the ambulance crew who had first arrived at the scene – Peter had had a massive heart attack whilst driving home. He had been taken to the hospital but was pronounced dead on arrival.

Gillian was too numb with shock and disbelief. Her Peter was gone.

As Gillian started to deal with her loss it was clear that Peter´s finances had not been well managed, he owed significant amounts and had no life or funeral insurance.

Their savings had gone into the house and the small pension would not cover the bills.

She borrowed for the funeral and had no money left over for the thousands of euros of debt that had accumulated.

She took the decision to sell the house and downsize and buy a small one bedroom apartment for herself. Even after selling furniture and other belongings she was still short for the removals.

She was put in touch with the BBF to see about helping with the removal costs to her new home which we were able to do.

Gillian still lives there today and has a new life.

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