When a person has died, we want to know why. It’s difficult when the answers are not straightforward.

Of course, there is an official process to be followed - Police always inform a coroner when someone has died unexpectedly, violently, or in suspicious circumstances, and if a GP or doctor is uncertain what’s caused a person’s death, they will also report it to the coroner. The coroner will then find out when, where, how and why the death happened and a post-mortem report and coronial findings report will be issued. 

But what if there are still no clear answers?  This can sometimes occur when someone has died from a self-injury or drug overdose, and it’s unclear whether this was intentional or accidental. 

Regardless of the cause of death, whānau and family require support. Depending on your situation, it may be necessary to be proactive and seek this support out yourself. You’re encouraged to do this - share your story with people who want to listen, connect with community resources and get whatever assistance you require. If you feel suicide may be part of your loved one’s story, you may like to contact a local suicide bereavement support group. 

My brother died of a drug overdose. He had used drugs for a long time and had depression. Our family didn’t know if his death was suicide or an accident. I was struggling with my grief and decided to try a WAVES suicide bereavement support group. The group members accepted me  - they understood that fine line and how hard it is to get the answers you need. - Carla, lost her brother five years ago.