Grief Counselling Service

Understanding loss and grief

We can experience many losses in our lives especially when we, or someone close to us, is ill, dying or has died. Grief is a natural response to loss. It helps us adjust to change in our lives. You may find you share some reactions in common with others, however no two people experience loss in quite the same way. Grief is very painful and may involve thoughts and feelings you don’t expect. Feeling sad, angry, lonely, numb, anxious, scared, guilty, empty, overwhelmed or relieved is not unusual. Your thinking can also be affected and sometimes you may have trouble concentrating or be quite forgetful. Grief can also be physical and affect your sleeping, appetite, energy levels and general health. It can affect the way we relate to each other and challenge our spiritual beliefs. After a loss it may take longer than you expect to adjust to your life being different. Many people have family and friends they can talk too, however, you may also find it helpful to talk to someone you don’t know. 

The Grief Counselling Service

The service provides free counselling and support focussing on coping with life-limiting illness, grief, loss and bereavement. It is available to all patients, their family/whānau and significant others who are receiving, or who have received palliative care services from Nurse Maude. Telephone and face to face support and counselling are available from qualified, experienced counsellors. Sessions can be one to one, couples or include family. The sessions are usually at the Nurse Maude Hospice but it may be possible to arrange a home visit. The service provides an opportunity to talk confidentially with a person who listens to your experience of grief. We can provide information and resources, give reassurance and assist with strategies to help you adjust. If necessary, referrals can be made to other health providers. Children and teenagers grieve too, often in ways that are quite different from adults. Their grief can lead to changes in behaviour which can be hard to understand and live with. We can arrange to meet with them and/or assist you to support them with information, advice and resources. 

Grief group sessions

We run regular groups focussing on aspects of grief and loss. These usually run for 1 ½ to 2 hours, once a week for four weeks. Topics include how we grieve and why people grieve differently, planning for anniversaries and Christmas, ways of remembering the person who died, relationships with others and self-care. If you are interested in attending a grief group, please contact our staff. 

Services of Remembrance

Services of Remembrance are held several times a year to remember those who died while receiving care from the Hospice Palliative Care Service. Family/whānau receive an invitation about nine to eleven months after the person has died. These non-religious services include readings, music and candle lighting.