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HealthInfo Waitaha Canterbury

After someone you love has died

Ā muri i te matenga o tētahi e arohaina nei e koe

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Once someone has died, you're likely to feel all sorts of emotions. Sadness, anger, guilt, relief and acceptance are all normal. Be kind to yourself during this time. Ask family and friends to help and accept help that is offered.

The funeral

The funeral director will ask you to make several decisions. It's up to you to take as much or as little responsibility in how you say goodbye to your loved one as you wish to. Some of these decisions will be:

Planning a funeral or memorial has more detailed advice to help you plan a service.


Grief is normal and time allows us to adjust to the loss of a loved one. Crying and sadness at your loss are normal.

Talking with friends and family about your loved one can help everyone to work through their grief and cope with their loss. But grief is personal and there is no right or wrong way to get through it. This page on grief has a lot of information about what you might experience and different ways of dealing with grief.

Getting help with grief

Even though people grieve differently, it's important to seek help if you're having difficulty coping. Speak to your general practice team or the palliative care nurse who helped care for your loved one. They will be able to put you in contact with bereavement services in your area.

The Nurse Maude leaflet Bereavement support and grief counselling service has more information about how grief might affect you and what support you can get. Grief and your child or teenager explains how children of different ages might grieve and how you can help.

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Written by HealthInfo clinical advisers. Last reviewed November 2020. Last updated August 2022.


See also:

Grief information for teens & young adults

Page reference: 326624

Review key: HIWSD-76097