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HealthInfo Canterbury

After someone you love has died

Once someone has died you are 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 is 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:

The Nurse Maude leaflet on funeral planning has more detailed advice to help you.


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. However, grief is personal and there is no right or wrong way to go through it. This page on understanding grief has a lot of information about what you might experience and different ways of dealing with grief.

Who can help?

Even though people grieve differently, it's important to seek help if you are having difficulty coping. Speak to your GP or the palliative care nurse who was involved in caring for your loved one, and 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. And Grief and your child or teenager outlines how children of different ages might grieve, and how you can help.

  HealthInfo recommends the following pages

Written by HealthInfo clinical advisers. Endorsed by Canterbury DHB and community palliative care specialists. May 2017.


See also:

Grief information for youth & teens

Reading in Mind book scheme

Page reference: 326624

Review key: HIWSD-76097