Understanding grief

Understanding grief

This information is designed to help you understand more about your grief when someone close to you has died from cancer. To understand more about the grief you might feel if you have been diagnosed with cancer, please visit Emotions and Cancer.

Coping with grief doesn’t mean getting over the person’s death. It is about finding ways to live with the loss.

Everyone’s experience of grief is unique, so this information is a general guide only. Although it is intended to be helpful, some sections may stir up a range of feelings at this difficult time. You may like to read the parts that seem useful now and leave the rest until you’re ready.

We hope this information will answer some of your questions, and provide you with suggestions as you explore ways to cope with your loss. It also includes a section on how to help someone who is grieving. You can also download a PDF of Cancer Council’s Understanding Grief from this page, or call 13 11 20 for support.

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This information was last reviewed in April 2017
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Support services

Caring for someone with cancer
Speak to a health professional or to someone who has been there, or find a support group or forum

Cancer Council Online Community
A community forum – a safe place to share stories, get tips and connect with people who understand

Cancer information

Emotions and cancer
People who are affected by cancer in some way can experience a range of emotions, that can be very challenging to deal with at times. Learn more.

End of life 
This information may help you better cope with end of life, or support someone who may be dying with cancer