Tips on grief and how to help

Help & Advice

Grief advice

Humans are social beings. Feeling connected to others gives us purpose and happiness, while losing a loved one can make us feel alone, angry, confused and overwhelmed. Going through grief doesn’t always make sense either. But when you’re back up by the right support, knowledge and strategies, navigating through that process can be easier.


MyGriefAssist is an online resource that provides further helpful information on grief and loss. In the exclusive video feature 'Coping with your grief' by Doris Zagdanski the journey of grief is beautifully described complimented with photography and music.

For more detailed information on grief, visit MyGriefAssist.

Helping others

Here are simple things you can do to help someone who has lost a loved one.

  • Offer to pick up guests coming for the funeral from the airport.
  • Offer an extra bedroom to out-of-town family members or friends.
  • Offer to drive grieving people where they need to go. Deep grief can impair driving and concentration. Be willing to wait for them while they finalise funeral arrangements.
  • Cook meals. Bring them in ready to heat dishes or plastic containers for freezing. And don’t expect them to be returned.
  • Clean the house. Ask if you can do a load of washing or take home a basket of ironing.
  • Mow the lawn. Sweep. Rake leaves. Tidy flower beds.
  • Bring toilet paper. Paper towels. Paper plates. Napkins. All the things you need when there are extra people in the house.
  • Bring folding chairs and tables to the home, as they are easy to set up and take down as needed.
  • Ask if they would like you to reply to any text or voicemail messages on their behalf.
  • If the bereaved person is a carer, offer to take over that responsibility for a time.
  • Take children to the park or out for ice cream if they are comfortable leaving their parents.
  • Take the dogs for regular walks.
  • Offer to be the one who sits with and takes care of toddlers at the funeral, allowing the parents to focus their attention on the ceremony.
  • Stay in touch. Experience tells us that after the funeral is over, visitors and offers of help decline quickly. This is a time when help around the house, ongoing support and a listening ear can be much appreciated.

Where to go for help with grief

Many community organisations provide support, as well as some larger well known organisations that work throughout Australia. These include:

Grief Support Resources

Every person reacts differently to loss and every person will display their grief differently. You may feel alone, helpless and at a complete loss of what to do and just getting up in the morning can seem like a monumental task. However we know also that in time you will be able to look back and see how each tiny step became the foundations of future hope and possibilities.

  • Lifeline: 13 11 14 
  • Beyond Blue: Information and support on mental health 
  • Black Dog Institute: Information on symptoms, treatment and prevention of depression and bipolar disorder. 
  • Mindspot: A free service for Australian adults who are experiencing difficulties with anxiety, stress, depression and low mood. 
  • NALAG Centre for Loss & Grief: Grief Support line: (02) 9489 6644 
  • Australian Psychological Society: 1800 333 497. Can provide a list of registered psychologists offering counselling services. 
  • The Salvation Army Counselling Service: 1300 363 622 
  • Kids' Helpline: 1800 551 800. A free, private and confidential, telephone and online counselling service specifically for young people aged between 5 and 25.
  • 1800RESPECT: Confidential information, counselling and support service open 24 hours to support people impacted by sexual assault, domestic or family violence and abuse.
  • Relationships Australia 1300 364 277. A provider of relationship support services for individuals, families and communities.
  • SANE Australia 1800 18 7263. Information about mental illness, treatments, where to go for support and help carers.
  • Support after Suicide. Information, resources, counselling and group support to those bereaved by suicide. Education and professional development to health, welfare and education professionals.
  • Red Nose Grief and Loss (formerly SIDS and Kids): 1300 308 307 (24/7).
  • The Compassionate Friends: 1300 064 068. Offering Support and information to those who have lost a child (any age) or grandchild to death. Also offering some sibling groups.
  • Cancer Council Australia: 13 11 20. Nurses and health professionals offering support to anyone affected by cancer.

For more comprehensive information on grief, you can visit the MyGriefAssist website.