About Go With Grace

Go With Grace is a new resource to guide and support New Zealanders through their experiences with death and dying. For many of us, we choose not to reflect on – or plan for – this moment in time. Go With Grace helps you to better understand and prepare for dying, to provide comfort and peace of mind to both you and your loved ones.

Offering guidance and support around dying 

A free and independent website, Go With Grace is a collection of information, services, resources and stories to support anyone facing their own passing, or the death of a loved one. We also help you prepare for dying with our death planning tool, which ensures your wishes are known after you are gone.

Starting conversations

Death is a very tender and personal subject. We all face death, and we all face loss and grief throughout our lives – it is part of the human condition. However for many, the fear of dying stops us thinking about, and planning for, this final stage of life. Death can be incredibly difficult to talk about and even more difficult to accept. Go With Grace is a place to start these conversations.

Finding peace of mind

We support people to better plan and prepare, so they have the peace of mind that their dying wishes are known. Having these conversations can also take away stress and anxiety for your loved ones, so they aren’t left struggling to make decisions without your guidance, at a time of loss and grief. We have worked very hard to ensure the information on Go With Grace is gentle and inclusive, because dying means so many different things to different people.

Go With Grace Founder

Kia ora, hello. I am a mother, daughter, sister, aunty, business owner, writer and someone who has experienced grief. Like many others, I have lost loved ones – grandparents, older relatives and friends. I have walked alongside many others who have lost people close to them; a witness to their grief and loss. When I first experienced losing a loved one, it was frightening and overwhelmingly sad. It was hard to know how to feel, how to act and how to find my way through these new emotions. I remember sitting quietly with grandparents in funeral home viewing rooms, attending passionately moving tangihanga on marae and colourful celebrations of life in churches. I had been around death, but I wasn’t prepared for the heartbreak that came from losing a child.

In my life I have faced three significant losses – a daughter, a father and a partner. 

My daughter, Faith, was born prematurely, at 22 ½ weeks. She was perfectly formed – all except for her heart. 15 years later, I farewelled my beautiful father, who was diagnosed with – and taken by – cancer, in just four short weeks. Two years later, my treasured partner died by suicide.

With each loss, I seriously questioned if I could face – let alone survive – the hurt, the grief and the pain that arrived violently at my door and smothered every inch of my life. I was surrounded by loved ones and yet I had moments of desperately wanting to be anywhere but here.

Somehow, each time, moment by moment, day by day, I found my way back. Through each loss, I struggled to find the answers, the advice and the information I needed to navigate through these intense times of grief. Go With Grace is my attempt to provide the information I was looking for, but couldn’t find – so that I can hopefully help support others.

It is with the most sincerest and heartfelt thanks that I acknowledge all the people who have helped me bring Go With Grace into the light. This is an idea I have carried for many years, and it is only with the support of many that Go With Grace has been made possible.

In love and kindness,
Katy Mandeno

Thank you for your support

This website has been made possible through the advice and support of many wonderful individuals and organisations. We would like to specifically acknowledge Henderson Reeves, lawyers in Whangārei and Auckland and North Haven Hospice in Whangārei for the invaluable contribution of expert knowledge, guidance and support from their respective teams.

Seeking help

Facing loss and living with grief can be so incredibly difficult. If you are struggling, please know there are many places and people who are there to help. You can find a wide variety of support groups and agencies on Go With Grace – you are not alone.