Grief & loss

Traumatic events can bring feelings of grief and loss.

You may have lost a member of your family/whānau or a friend. Or you may feel devastated by the loss of community members, even if you didn't know them personally.

We all handle grief in different ways. Feeling sad is completely normal, and there are people and services available to help you cope.

Dealing with grief and loss

Grief and loss
  • We feel grief if we lose people we love, or things and places we were attached to. It can be a difficult and painful process.
  • This site offers information on symptoms of grief, help and treatment options, and strategies to support recovery.
  • From the Mental Health Foundation
Coping with grief and loss
  • Grief affects everyone, and sometimes we don't know how to manage it.
  • Includes a link to a pamphlet with information about grief and loss, including ways to cope or to help others cope.
  • From HealthEd
Managing grief
  • Provides a PDF guide for people dealing with the death of someone close and trying to understand their feelings of grief.
  • From the Cancer Society and Get the Tools
Who can help me deal with the death of a loved one?
  • Provides advice for how to deal with grief and how to find a grief counsellor
  • Includes links to telephone counselling services
  • From Citizens Advice Bureau
When someone dies suddenly
  • The unexpected death of someone close to you is likely to leave you struggling with a range of overwhelming thoughts and emotions, and your body may also react in ways you have not experienced before.
  • From the Grief Centre
Dealing with the death of a baby
  • A network of parent-run, non-profit groups supporting families/whānau who have experienced the death of a baby. They host regular meetings in Christchurch.
  • For more information, call 021-103-4911.
  • From Sands New Zealand
Hospice services

Anyone living with a life-limiting condition can access and benefit from hospice services.

  • Specialist hospice palliative care and free support to people and their family/whānau in the community and at the Nurse Maude Hospital in Merivale, Christchurch. From Nurse Maude
  • Support for dealing with life-limiting illness. All services are free and are available throughout the Ashburton district between the Rakaia and Rangitata Rivers. From Hospice Mid Canterbury

Helping children and young people deal with grief

Children and young people often have difficulty understanding and processing feelings of grief and loss. Having someone support and guide them through the process is an important step towards improving their wellbeing.

As a parent, caregiver, or support person, your own support needs are important too. Take care of yourself so that you can take care of others.

Bereavement reactions by age group
  • Kids react differently to losing a loved one. This resource helps you understand what's common for each age group, from babies to teenagers.
  • No matter their age, children experiencing loss need ongoing attention, reassurance, and support.
  • From KidsHealth
Helping a child cope with the death of a parent
  • Advice on how to help children tell their story about what happened, and how to help them explore, express, and understand their grief
  • From KidsHealth
Understanding loss and grief
  • This resource is especially valuable for teachers who have a student dealing with grief and loss.
  • It helps teachers understand common losses for children, and how you can support them.
  • From Ministry of Education/TKI
Grief and loss
  • Straight-forward advice written specifically for teenagers
  • Helps them understand that the emotional pain of grief is normal
  • From 0800 What's Up
Grief and loss / Feeling sad
  • Written specifically for children to help them understand what grief is and how they might deal with it
  • From 0800 What's Up
How to help a grieving child
Tips for young adults grieving a death
Your friend is grieving: Tips for supporting them