This study aims to discover (1) how relatives adjust to their new life situations following the death of a patient with cancer in hospice and (2) how those relatives have been supported by healthcare professionals both before and after the patient's death. The data were collected with a structured questionnaire administered to relatives of patients with cancer who died in a Finnish hospice in 1998 and 1999. The questionnaires were administered by the hospice staff to all family members who met the criteria specified (n = 589). The final sample comprised 258 family members, most of whom were the deceased patients' spouses. The Mann-Whitney U-test and the Kruskal-Wallis test were used to analyze the data. Instrument reliability was ascertained by the Cronbach alpha coefficient. The relatives had little difficulty accepting their new life situation and adjusting to their new role. The main factors affecting adjustment were being the patient's spouse and the age of both patient and relative. Relatives believed that they received a moderate amount of support from healthcare professionals, both before and after the patient's death. Most of the information they received concerned the patient's illness and treatment and daily condition. Communication was honest and based upon the relatives' needs. Emotional support before the patient's death consisted mainly of accepting the relative and listening to what relatives had to say.