Losing a loved one due to Covid-19

Information to support people who have lost someone to COVID-19
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' Ko te here o te aroha tē taea te wetewete.  A loving bond cannot be undone   '

Everyone’s loss is unique, and their reactions and grief experiences are different, but we hope this information is helpful for you. Please adapt this information to suit your own situation.  

The death of someone you care about is one of life’s most difficult experiences. If you’ve lost a loved one, we’d like to acknowledge your loss and the many thoughts and feelings you may have. It may feel like your world has been turned upside down and that so much has changed.  

Experiencing the death of a loved one due to COVID-19 may bring extra challenges, such as:  

  • Often the death is sudden and unexpected.   
  • Co-existing or other health conditions may have contributed to their death.  
  • Bereaved whānau and family may have been isolated from their loved one at the time of their passing and unable to see them or say their goodbyes in person.   
  • Covid-19 updates continue to be in our news headlines and may trigger sadness and memories for you and your whānau.   
  • The loved one who has died may have been a main contributor to your household income and this may bring financial and other immediate challenges.  
  • You may need to take unpaid leave from your work, adding extra financial pressure.  
  • Health restrictions may have meant that whānau and close friends couldn’t grieve or farewell their loved one in a way that is religiously or culturally familiar to them.   

Whatever challenges you're experiencing, these can affect how you grieve and cope with loss.  

This information is designed to support you, and your whānau, as you navigate the many emotions and reactions that come with grief and bereavement.  

We hope you’ll be able to find some solace in the information below. We have also included a downloadable resource that may help you, or any loved ones you are supporting.  

Grief is a natural response to the loss of a loved one. It is important to look after yourself, and your loved ones. Take the time you need to grieve in your own way. It’s also okay to ask for help and support if you need it.  

Helplines and other support services 

The following services offer free support 24 hours a day, seven days a week and can connect you with others who can help you: 

Free call or text 1737 anytime to talk to a trained counsellor.  

Lifeline – 0800 543 354 or free text 4357 (HELP)  

Youthline – 0800 376 633 or free text 234  

Samaritans – 0800 726 666  

For children/young people  

What’s Up - 0800 942 8787 (for 5–18 year olds). NB: Phone counselling is available every day from 11am–11pm. Online chat is available from 11am–10:30pm.

Call Asian Family Services helpline on 0800 862 342 (Mon-Fri 9am-8pm).  

Call Vaka Tautua – free national Pacific helpline on 0800 Ola lelei/0800 652 535 (Mon-Fri 8.30am-5pm).