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What it is, what it entails, and the decisions that need to be made before getting ill or incapacitated.


An advance directive can be a good way to gain more control over the treatment and care you are given if you experience an episode of mental illness that leaves you unable to decide or communicate your preferences at the time.


Traditionally, in New Zealand, many families are reluctant to think and talk about death and dying and the type of treatment and care they may want at the end.

Palliative and Care Facilities


Extensive and trusted directory of services related to older people including a database of community groups, organisations, home services, rest homes, retirement villages, dementia care, hospitals, specialist hospital care and more.


Many people think of hospice as just a building, when in fact it is a philosophy of care.  The hospice philosophy places equal importance on the physical, spiritual, cultural, emotional and social well-being of a person living with a life-limiting condition.

Anyone with a terminal illness, not just cancer, can access hospice care and support. People with life-limiting conditions such as multiple sclerosis, lung failure, motor neurone disease or dementia can benefit from palliative care.

Whilst hospice care is primarily focused on the person who is dying, services are also for the family and whanau both before and after their loved one has died.

Caregiver Resources


If you’re caring for someone at home you might be able to get help with costs and making changes to your home.

Community Information


Death Cafés are found all over the world and are a wonderful way to begin the conversation on death.



A non-profit organization supporting conversations on death through hosting dinner parties. From their website: “The dinner table is the most forgiving place for a difficult conversation. The ritual of breaking bread creates warmth and connection and puts us in touch with our humanity. It offers an environment that is more suitable than the usual places we discuss end-of-life. “


From their website: “Reimagine End of Life is a community-wide exploration of death and celebration of life through creativity and conversation. Drawing on the arts, spirituality, healthcare, and design, we create weeklong series of events that break down taboos and bring diverse communities together in wonder, preparation, and remembrance.”


Life Stories will help you tell the story of your loved one. 


After Death Care


A magazine and resource to green and holistic approaches to end of life.



Educates and empowers families who want to care for their own dead. Connects families with resources to "promote environmentally sound and culturally nurturing death practices". 





Support services and information for people experiencing grief and loss and their family/whānau.

Media List including books

  • A Beginner's Guide to the End, BJ Miller MD and Shoshana Berger

  • Advice for Future Corpses and Those Who Love Them, Sallie Tisdale

  • At Home with Dying, Collett

  • At the Time of Death: Symbols & Rituals for Caregivers and Chaplains, by David Bieniek

  • Awake at the Bedside: Contemplative Teachings on Palliative and End-of-Life Care, Koshin Paley Ellison and Matt Weingast

  • A Year to Live, Stephen and Ondrea Levine

  • Bold Spirit Caring for the Dying, Janet Booth * Gale Gagnier * Terrence Ho *Lesley James * Ashlee Jansen * Shannon Koppenhoefer * Janice Lombardo * Tamelynda Lux * Olga Nikolajev *Siby Varghese * Chrystal Waban

  • Bearing the Unbearable, Dr. Joanne Cacciatore

  • Being Mortal, Atul Gawande

  • Being with Dying: Cultivating compassion and fearlessness in the presence of death, by Joan Halifax

  • Caring for the Dying, Henry Fersko-Weiss

  • Dancing with Elephants, Jarem Sawatsky

  • Die Wise,  Stephen Jenkinson

  • Extreme Measures, Jessica Zitter, MD

  • From Here to Eternity, Caitlin Doughty

  • Graceful Exit, Ferber, MD

  • Grieving Is Loving: Compassionate Words for Bearing the Unbearable, Dr. Joanne Cacciatore

  • Holding Space on Loving, Dying, and Letting Go, by  Amy Wright Glenn

  • How to Enjoy Death: Preparing to Meet Life’s Final Challenge without Fear, Lama Zopa Rinpoche

  • Leaning Into Sharp Points: Practical Guidance and Nurturing Support for Caregivers, by Stan Goldberg

  • Living in the Light of Death: On the Art of Being Truly Alive, by Larry Rosenberg

  • Making Friends with Death: A Buddhist Guide to Encountering Mortality, by Judith L. Lief

  • Marrow, Elizabeth Lesser

  • No Death, No Fear: Comforting Wisdom for Life, by Thich Nhat Hanh (Riverhead)

  • Overcoming the Fear of Death: Through each of the 4 main belief systems, by Kelvin Chin

  • Share the Care, by Capossela and Warnock

  • Staring at the sun: Overcoming the terror of death, by Irving Yalom

  • Tuesdays With Morrie, Mitch Albom

  • The Art of Dying Well: A practical guide to a good end of life, Katy Butler

  • The Conversation, Volandes, MD

  • The End of Fear: A spiritual path for realists, by Richard Schaub

  • The Five Invitations, Frank Ostaseski

  • The Good Funeral, Long and Lynch

  • The Grace in Dying, Kathleen Dowling-Singh

  • The Handbook for Companioning the Mourner, Alan Wolfelt

  • The Lost Art of Dying, L.S. Dugdale

  • The Three Regrets, Tenzin Kiyosaki

  • The Tibetan Book of the Dead

  • The Wild Edge of Sorrow, Francis Weller

  • Re-Imagining the End of Life: Self-Development & Reflective Practices for Nurse Coaches, Jan Booth

  • Who Dies? Stephen and Ondrea Levine

  • Walking Each Other Home, Ram Dass

  • When Breath Becomes Air, Paul Kalinithi

Books for Children

  • Always Remember, Cece Meng

  • A Stone for Sascha, Aaron Becker

  • Badger’s Parting Gifts, Suan Varley

  • Bear and Bird, James Skofield and Jennifer Thermes

  • Cry Heart, But Never Break, Glenn Ringtved, Charlotte Pardi

  • Death is Stupid, Anastasia Higginbotham

  • Duck, Death and the Tulip, Wolf Erlbruch

  • How Do You Care for A Very Sick Bear, Vanessa Bayer

  • I Miss You: A first look at death, Thomas and Harker

  • Lifetimes: The Beautiful Way to Explain Death to Children, Brian Mellonie and Robert Ingpen 

  • Little Tree, Loren Long

  • Maybe Dying is Like Becoming a Butterfly, Pimm van Hest

  • Nana Upstairs and Nana Downstairs, Tomie dePaola

  • Sad Isn’t Bad, Mundy

  • Tear Soup, Pat Schwiebert

  • The Dragonfly Story: Explaining the death of a loved one to children and families, Kelly Owen

  • The Memory Tree, Britta Teckentrup

  • The Invisible String, Patrice Karst

  • The Flat Rabbit, Bardur Oskarsson

  • When Miss Bluebird Died, Jennifer Reich, Kristine Kollasch

  • When Someone Dies, Sharon Greenlee

  • When Dinosaurs Die, Laurie Krasny Brown and Marc Brown

  • Wherever You Are, my love will find you, Nancy Tillman


  • The Fault in Our Stars - love story between two young cancer patients

  • Tuesdays With Morrie

  • Lullabye

  • The Life of Death (animated on YouTube)

  • Departures

  • The Farewell

  • A Monster Calls

  • A Good Death

  • Two Weeks (Starring Sally Fields)

  • My Girl

  • Terms of Endearment

  • After Life

  • Soul (Disney)

  • Coco


  • Zen and the Art of Dying - profiles Zenith Virago

  • Griefwalker - profiles Stephen Jenkinson

  • An Honest Death

  • Dying Wish (VSED)

  • End Game

  • Extremis

  • Go in Peace

  • Surviving Death (Netflix)

Podcasts (to name but a few)

  • End of Life University - Karen Wyatt, MD - over 200 episodes! End-of-Life University: Created by Dr. Karen Wyatt, a website, podcast, and resource for anything and all Death Education.

  • Death: The Podcast

  • Death by Design Kimberly Paul

  • Death, et seq. Tanya Marsh

  • Doing Death: Amanda Blainey

  • Death in the Afternoon: Caitlin Doughty

  • Grief Refuge


  • I Don’t Want to Die in the Hospital, Connor Oberst

  • I’ll Fly Away, Multiple artists

  • Sirens, Pearl Jam

  • Paths That Cross, Patti Smith

  • Keep Me In Your Heart, Warren Zevon

  • When I Go Away, Levon Helm

  • Brokedown Palace, Grateful Dead

  • I Shall Be Released, The Band, Joe Cocker and others

  • People Get Ready, Eva Cassidy

  • Fixin’ To Die, Rory Block, Bonnie Raitt and others

  • Company of Friends, Danny Schmidt

  • Tears in Heaven, Eric Clapton

  • For a Dancer, Jackson Browne

  • Say, John Mayer

  • Long May You Run, Neil Young

  • Take it with Me, Tom Waits

  • Time, Tom Waits

  • Shiver Me Timbers, Tom Waits

  • You Can Never Hold Back Spring, Tom Waits

  • No One Knows I’m Gone, Tom Waits

  • Let The Mystery Be My Life, Iris Desment

  • Not Afraid To Die, Avett Brothers or Gillian Welsh

  • When All is Said and Done, Geoff Moore and the Distance

  • Wide River to Cross, Buddy Miller








No Matter where you are in your grief journey, The Grief Deck offers sensitive and supportive tools to help you process your emotions. It is sixty illustrated cards, created by a diverse array of artists and grief workers, offers thoughtful prompts, simple activities, richly textured artwork, and grounding resources for coping with loss


Play the new party game that lets you explore a topic we’re all obsessed with but often afraid to discuss.


Perhaps you know how tough end-of-life discussions are, so CODA Alliance created and tested a wonderful and fun sorting card game to help you easily start a comfortable conversation and choose your own way – in life, and at the end of life. 

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