Chapter 5: After the death

When a family member needs help

If you judge that the family member shouldn’t be left alone, you may need to wait until other family or friends have arrived to provide support. During these waiting periods, you can invite the person to tell you a bit about the patient if they would like, what the last few weeks and months before death have been like, and their concerns about the future. Gentle listening, with sensitive questioning, demonstrates your compassion and will assist the person in these first moments of grief; and they may well remember your caring in the months or even years to come.

To see a list of Canadian crisis services, click here: