Bereavement and Grief Support


The Hospice Wanganui bereavement support team consists of the social worker and a volunteer team who are all trained and experienced in grief support. Having such a team means that we are able to offer a variety of bereavement support options to people.

The nominated next of kin receive invitations to bereavement events during the first year of mourning; however these events are open to all relatives and friends. If people are still in need of support after that they are still able to have assistance from the bereavement support team. The pattern of support is as follows:

  • In the first instance, the Hospice nurses phone the bereaved approximately two weeks after a death and offer support from the bereavement service. If this is wanted, a referral to the bereavement team is made and the social worker visits to assess the situation. Ongoing support is offered, either from the social worker (if need dictates) or from a bereavement volunteer.
  • Relatives or friends of those who have died under Hospice care can self-refer or be referred by others to the Hospice bereavement support service at any time for ongoing bereavement support.
  • Invitations are sent out for a bereavement morning tea every three months; this is for people who have had a death two to five months before. This is a one-off session for people to connect with each other and have some information and discussion relating to bereavement issues.
  • The ‘Surviving Grief’ small group bereavement course is available to people in the second half of the first year of grief. Surviving Grief focuses on the tasks of grieving (William Worden), relating the grief process to the imagery of a river journey. This imagery helps people think about and process their own experience of loss within the support of a small group setting. Courses run for two hours every week for four weeks, with two group reconnection sessions – approximately one month and four months later.
  • From time to time other bereavement support groups have been held, as needed.
  • Towards the end of every year a Hospice Remembrance Service is held, which is organised by the bereavement support team.