Message from Roger Womack, Founder of Loss and Life

Welcome to the Loss and Life website.  It was over 7 years ago that I was struggling to find help and support after being bereaved.  There wasn’t much available for me to connect with to help me understand the emotions and feelings I was experiencing.  I researched and read many books, but there was still a huge hole in my life.  I was made aware of the lack of materials to help the bereaved.

There were days when I couldn’t do anything and frequently just lay on my bed overwhelmed and exhausted with grief.  Interestingly, that in itself became a tool – doing ‘self care’ and looking after myself.  Gradually the idea was born to gather together anything that was helping me on my journey.  These ‘tools’ I put into my toolkit and treasured.

The idea grew and more things were added.  That idea has now grown into the charity, Loss and Life which offers life-long learning about grief with others who are grieving.  Resources and other materials share concepts and practical ideas that can help on the recovery journey.  That is what you will find here on this website.

Please consider helping by DONATING which will give  “A helping hand with grief…” to others who are struggling with the aftermath of bereavement.

One man’s journey through Love, Loss and Life…

Meet the Loss and Life team


Roger Womack

Founder and CEO

Roger’s wife, Teresa died on the 17th August 2014 after a seven year cancer journey.  A long and hard path rolled out before him following that momentous day. “Both my parents have died and other family members and friends over the years. One might have thought that would have prepared me for the death of my wife. When that time came I found that there was nothing in my toolkit to help me!” So started his grief journey, something he would not wish on anyone.  However, so many people find themselves travelling along this road.  “It is a well worn path, but not clearly signposted; many flounder at various points trying to find a way to get through.”

Overwhelming emotions of pain, suffering, illness and despair are common companions along the way, but in time things can begin to change.  “It’s important to know that time itself is not the healer, it’s what you do with the time that counts.”  Roger chose to embrace the pain.  At that moment he entered an “Intentional Grief Journey”, a journey that saved his life and gave him purpose once again.  He has developed a passion that no one should have to grieve alone.

Roger has walked alongside people experiencing grief since 2017.  He now works in a voluntary capacity with the following organisations:- AtaLoss.org (Bereavement support for men advisor); Loss and Hope (The Bereavement Journey facilitator); Care For the Family (Widowed Young Support and Bereavement Care Awareness projects); Rowcroft Hospice (Bereavement Support Volunteer, Listening And Support Service end of life).

This charity is dedicated to the memory of Teresa.

Rich Byatt


Rich is no stranger to bereavement: over a period of 4½ years he and his wife experienced nine major bereavements including all four parents. They were not able to process one loss before another knocked them off balance again.
Rich’s background is in computing and engineering with particular emphasis in project/operations management and systems thinking. He has worked in both commercial and charitable sectors and has a particular interest in helping people to achieve their full potential personally and professionally.
Walking his springador dog Wilber, is a regular pastime along with amateur photography out in nature.  Rich also enjoys a wide range of music genres and films to relax.

Lindsay Lucas


Lindsay has enjoyed two main careers: teaching and running her own music business. She composed a musical work in 2008 to raise money for her local bereavement charity, Edward’s Trust, in Birmingham, only to find her own need for the charity’s counselling support three years later when her husband died suddenly, leaving her the sole parent of a 12 year old.

Lindsay then sought a befriender from Care for the Family Widowed Young support, before becoming a befriender herself three years later. For the last eight years, Lindsay has befriended many young widows, delivered Care for the Family’s Bereavement Awareness courses (live, then online), facilitated 14 online Bereavement Journey courses nationally and locally during and since the pandemic.  Lindsay is also enthusiastic to raise money for, and support, bereavement charities like LossandLife, AtaLoss.org and Edward’s Trust.

Lindsay loves connecting and engaging with people, being creative, (and proof-reading!) – all transferable skills which she enthusiastically uses in her new role as Trustee.

Craig Mackay

Craig’s first wife, Karena, died in 2010 after a 16 month battle with ovarian cancer, leaving him with three children aged 13,11 and 10 years old.

During his grief journey he met Ellie who was herself widowed 10 years before after the sudden death of her husband at just 28 years of age leaving her with two pre-school-aged children. They married and started the challenging adventure of blending families, parenting and step-parenting their tribe of five teenagers!

Craig worked as a mechanical engineer in the petrochemical industry for most of his career, but since 2021 has been working as a Pastor in a church in north Devon. In his spare time, he enjoys running, cycling, and looking after his donkeys, goats and sheep!

Tor Mackenzie

Tor’s husband died of cancer in December 2013 when her children were only 3 and 7. She didn’t know anybody else who was widowed like her, but found support through Widowed and Young (WAY) as well as Care for the Family’s ‘Widowed Young Support’ befriender service.  As Tor explains, “These were an absolute lifeline to me, to be able to travel this journey with others who simply got it”.

Tor later became a befriender herself for Care for the Family (CFF) as she wanted to give back and support others on a similar journey. This then led to facilitating ‘The Bereavement Journey’. She has supported many people through this work, helping them to navigate their own grief journey and find their ‘new normal’.

Tor has that wonderful ability to say just the right thing at the right time.  This has been invaluable in the process of establishing the Loss and Life charity and she also brings her marketing expertise from the business sector.  Tor will often be found ferrying her children to their various clubs and activities or relaxing with either puzzles or jigsaws.


Steve Smart

Widowed Young Support Coordinator for Care for the Family (CFF) until 2022.
Steve was widowed in 2007 and benefited from Care for the Family’s ‘Widowed Young Support’ events.  He became a volunteer for the charity and in April in 2011 took up the role to coordinate CFF’s Widowed Young Support service, with his second wife, Paula.  This provides: a telephone befriending network offering one to one support for the bereaved; day and weekend events with practical suggestions to help those living through bereavement and loss; and a regular email newsletter containing helpful articles and personal stories.

Steve is a natural communicator who brought his extensive project management skills and teaching experience to this role.  He  has always been active in the church and has a particular calling to help those suffering in life.  Steve will be found relaxing on the tennis court and enjoying travel with Paula, whom he met on a Care for the Family Widowed Young support weekend in May 2008.


Dr Roger Hopper

Roger has a research doctorate and has spent thirty years working in a mixture of private, public and self employed contexts. He is a skilled educator, manager, leader and University lecturer with a passion for creating and implementing innovative, flexible world class training that meets the needs of the individual.

He has applied his knowledge and skills to help establish Loss and Life to provide support and training to those dealing with loss.

In his spare time he is most likely to be in his garage creating something out of wood or in the outdoors having an adventure with his family.

Verran Townsend

Author of Finding Your Way – Caring for yourself while caring for someone else.  Verran’s book is a source of inspiration and hope.  It helps people to connect and look after themselves while caring for another.  This has been borne out of Verran’s direct experience of caring for his wife Karen for over eight years prior to her death.

Verran brings much experience to the charity from his own story and previous experience in direct marketing in the business world.

Verran runs self-help workshops for carers and those that work with them. He also teaches pottery and trains walkers in the art of navigation on Dartmoor.

Ghulam Fernandes

Ghulam has experienced multiple bereavements over her life.  “I lost my mum when I was 13. My older brother died suddenly aged 31. The following year my 21 year-old sister had a mental breakdown, due to a delayed grief reaction, and took her own life. Then the following year my father died”.  Ghulam has also experienced the pain and grief of multiple miscarriages.
This led her on a quest for answers and healing.  Counselling and a journey to faith have all played their part in a process to discover and work through her unresolved grief.  She is now a Certified Advanced Grief Recovery Specialist and is passionate about helping others on their grief journey, particularly those who are stuck in grief. 
Ghulam has a background in teaching and training and loves to work with individuals to bring about long lasting transformation.  This has been expressed in her role as Pastoral Care worker for a large church.