It is important to have some contingency plan when the death of a friend or family member is imminent. This "little planning" will help you to avoid some extra stress during the grief process.

Slow down

Once the death has occurred and the doctor or police have been informed take your time to process and acknowledge your loss. You do not need to make

any rash decisions.

Think carefully about the next steps.

Talk to your family and friends, and look for a funeral home which best suits your needs. 

What should I do when my loved one passes... a care institution?

As a basic rule, when someone dies in a hospital, rest home or hospice the next of kin is informed. The staff will ensure that the Medical Certificate of Cause of Death and Application for Cremation form (if applicable) will be done. We would recommend that your funeral home be notified as soon as you get advised of the death. home?

If your loved one passes at home you need to inform the doctor as soon as possible so a Medical Certificate of Cause of Death can be issued, a certified nurse practitioner is allowed to do this as well. If your family member is at home under professional care, as a nurse or registered palliative caregiver, they will arrange the paperwork with the doctor when the death occurs.

...and if the police are involved?

When someone dies unexpectedly, suspiciously or accidentally at a hospital, workplace, home or public place the police must be called to investigate the cause of death.  
After the post-mortem examination has been completed, and legal processes concluded, the coroner may authorize the return of the body to the family / funeral home for further care.

Who to notify


Who to notify


you are not alone


Coping with the loss of someone or something you love is one of life’s biggest challenges. Often, the pain of loss can feel overwhelming. You may experience all kinds of difficult and unexpected emotions, from shock or anger to disbelief, guilt, and profound sadness. The pain of grief can also disrupt your physical health, making it difficult to sleep, eat, or even think straight. These are normal reactions to a significant loss. But while there is no right or wrong way to grieve, there are healthy ways to cope with the pain that, in time, can ease your sadness and help you come to terms with your loss, find new meaning, and move on with your life.


Coping with Grief and Loss

Here you may find channels to help you and your family to pass through the grief and loss process. 

They offer to the Southland community support for people living with loss and grief of any sort- including grief from bereavement, separation, illness, isolation and other life changes.

At the Grief Centre we offer a variety of services to assist those who are grieving. They include counselling, support groups, brochures, books and articles. We also offer training and professional supervision to those who are working with individuals and families who are suffering from grief and loss.

In the past 20 years, HelpGuide has grown from a small local project to an internationally­-recognized website that reaches tens of millions of people a year—all with no advertising of any kind.

Lifeline Aotearoa’s helpline and text line provide 24/7, confidential support from qualified counselors and trained volunteers.

We all face challenges to our mental health. Depression and anxiety changes the way we think, feel and deal with tough times. Well done for taking the first step. You can follow other people’s journeys to wellness below or explore the site to find your own way to a better place.

Samaritans offer confidential, non-religious and non-judgemental support to anyone who may be feeling depressedlonely, or even be contemplating suicideWe are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and you don't have to be suicidal to call us. 

Youthline works with young people, their families and those supporting young people. Our organisations are made up of volunteer and paid staff members - and we have centres based across the country. 

If you are seriously concerned about someone's immediate safety 

(or your own) - Phone 111

OR Go to your nearest Hospital Emergency Department

OR Phone your local DHB Mental Health Crisis Team (CATT team

OR Healthline 0800 611 116