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Starbucks serves grieving daughter a cup of compassion: 'I started crying'

Posted at 4:56 PM, Feb 08, 2022

HOPEWELL, Va. — A group of Starbucks baristas in Hopewell, Virginia served a hot cup of compassion to a grieving daughter.

Jackie Dean's mother died in January. In the days and weeks since her mother's death, Jackie and her sisters have attempted to plan a memorial for their mom.

“So it’s just been hard," Dean said.

"We've had to move her services three times due to COVID.”

Mildred Burnham loved Starbucks.

She particularly enjoyed sipping a caramel macchiato.

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While planning her mom's rescheduled service over the weekend, Jackie needed a coffee break. So she drove to her neighborhood Starbucks and placed her familiar order.

"I was going to order what I always order and I inadvertently ordered two," she said. "I was so used to getting one for mom.”

Realizing her mistake, Jackie became overcome with grief.

"I started crying and I tried to get my words," she said.

What happened next brought Jackie some joy during an otherwise difficult day.

“They came up to the window and said, 'ma'am, there’s not going to be any charge for your coffee today," she said.“[The barista said] 'I noticed you were upset and when you said you ordered two and then one, I said I knew something was going on.'”

In addition to the free coffee, the barista drew a small heart on Jackie's cup.

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“It just made such an impact, it made my day, my day had been terrible, I had been crying all day," she said.

The small Starbucks gesture helped warm her broken heart.

This story was first reported by Wayne Covil at WTVR in Richmond, Virginia.

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