How to Deal with Grief in the Workplace

Sad office worker

Losing an office colleague is a difficult time for everyone in the office.

Slowly, the grief can seep into the workspace.

The entire office might need grief therapy to deal with grief in the workplace.

Being patient with yourself is essential to deal with grief in the workplace.

It is understandable to be unsure about your feelings after the loss of a colleague.

Try to avoid comparing your response to that of colleagues.

Talking to your colleague is a simple way to deal with grief in the workplace.

Your colleagues are likely to share the type of relationship you have with your deceased colleague.

You can exchange fond memories and share your feelings.

By honoring your colleague, you are creating a legacy for your colleague.

In a way, you might allow your colleague to live on in your memory.

This might bring peace and relief to the workspace.

Consider these methods to deal with grief in the workplace.

Anxiety Therapists in Colorado

Naomi Kettner, LPC, NCC

Naomi Kettner, LPC, NCC

Colorado Springs, Colorado
(719) 452-4374
Kelsey Motley, LPCC

Kelsey Motley, LPCC

Colorado
(719) 345-2424
Deja Howard, MSW, SWC

Deja Howard, MSW, SWC

Colorado
(719) 345-2424
Chelsea Bruntmyer, MA, LPCC, NCC

Chelsea Bruntmyer, MA, LPCC, NCC

Colorado
(719) 696-3439
Samantha Zavala, LPCC

Samantha Zavala, LPCC

Aurora, Colorado
(719) 345-2424
Margot Bean, LCSW

Margot Bean, LCSW

Colorado Springs, Colorado
(719) 345-2424
Jacquelynne Sils, LPC

Jacquelynne Sils, LPC

Colorado
(719) 696-3439
Alex Wiley, LPC

Alex Wiley, LPC

Colorado Springs, Colorado
(719) 452-4374
Katelynn Dwyer, LPCC

Katelynn Dwyer, LPCC

Colorado
(720) 449-4121
Arias Gonzales, MS, LPC, NCC, EMDR-Trained

Arias Gonzales, MS, LPC, NCC, EMDR-Trained

Colorado
(719) 345-2424
Shannon Matlock, LPC, NCC

Shannon Matlock, LPC, NCC

Colorado Springs, Colorado
(719) 203-7021
Sherry Rice, LPCC, ADDC

Sherry Rice, LPCC, ADDC

Colorado
(719) 452-4374
Leigh Harlan, LPC

Leigh Harlan, LPC

Colorado Springs, Colorado
(719) 602-1342
Sarah Webster, SWC

Sarah Webster, SWC

Colorado
(719) 696-3439
Meghan Purcell, LPCC

Meghan Purcell, LPCC

Pueblo, Colorado
(719) 696-3439

Talk to Colleagues

After suffering the loss of a person, a common coping technique is to share your feelings.

When you lose a colleague, you might struggle to find other people that share the same relationship you had with your colleague.

One of the few people that might be able to have a conversation about your deceased colleague is your other colleagues.

Although most offices try to maintain a professional relationship between colleagues, you might feel better speaking openly about the loss of a colleague.

You can share fond memories and tales about your work colleague.

Being respectful towards the deceased is important, as extreme opinions cause conflict.

The relationship between colleagues can be solely work-related or expand beyond work.

Some colleagues might have been friends with the deceased.

This will affect how they choose to handle their grief differently.

A great way to deal with grief in the workplace is to speak to your colleagues about the loss.

It can help you to find closure and heal.

This might be best done in an informal setting or after work hours.

Being Patient with Self

The average person's life includes working to earn a living.

They likely have other people like them working for a living at work.

Although both parties might start as strangers, after working together, they likely form some type of relationship.

Sometimes the relationship between colleagues can remain as just colleagues.

Other times, it changes to friends or other things.

The loss of a colleague can be especially difficult for the reason of being used to having a colleague.

A common feeling after losing a work colleague is being confused.

Your feelings might be knotted, trying to figure out the exact nature of your loss.

It is important to give yourself some time to process the loss.

You will likely find some colleagues more sure and expressive of their relationship with the deceased.

It is important to focus on yourself and be patient with your feelings to deal with grief in the workplace.

You might also need time off work to mourn your loss when you sort out your feelings.

Honor your Colleague

You might feel sadness and grief after the loss of a colleague, even after trying to deal with the loss in many ways, such as attending the memorial service.

An excellent method to try to deal with grief in the workplace is to embrace and honor your lost colleague.

Consider selecting something that is dear to your colleague.

This could be a charity organization or event.

You can focus your attention on creating a legacy in that activity in honor of your colleague.

For instance, if your colleague enjoyed volunteering at a charity organization, you could hold a fundraiser to raise money to donate to the charity.

Alternatively, you might also choose to create a marathon raising awareness of a disease if that meant something to your colleague.

You could name the event in honor of your deceased colleague.

It is important to speak to other colleagues and your manager to foster participation.

The activity in honor of your colleague could be repeated annually.

This creates a legacy for your colleague.

The activity selected might be difficult to select.

It is important to remember that the focus is less on the activity than on finding a way to honor your deceased colleague.

This might bring peace and relief in the workplace to have a way to honor your colleague.

Grief & Loss Therapists in Colorado

Derek Bonds, LPC

Derek Bonds, LPC

Pueblo, Colorado
(719) 696-3439
Kristen Yamaoka-Los, LPC

Kristen Yamaoka-Los, LPC

Colorado Springs, Colorado
(719) 481-3518
Sierra Brown, SWC

Sierra Brown, SWC

Colorado
(719) 345-2424
Vanessa Dewitt, LCSW

Vanessa Dewitt, LCSW

Pueblo, Colorado
(719) 696-3439
Bethany Cantrell, LPC

Bethany Cantrell, LPC

Colorado Springs, Colorado
(719) 602-1342
Alex Wiley, LPC

Alex Wiley, LPC

Colorado Springs, Colorado
(719) 452-4374
Marie Whatley LPCC

Marie Whatley LPCC

Colorado
(719) 345-2424
Megan Brausam, LPC

Megan Brausam, LPC

Colorado Springs, Colorado
(719) 481-3518
Jennifer Luttman, LPC, ACS

Jennifer Luttman, LPC, ACS

Colorado
(719) 345-2424
Tracey Lundy, LCSW

Tracey Lundy, LCSW

Colorado Springs, Colorado
(719) 452-4374

Maintain Routines

Most companies function on routines.

This is effective because each individual likely has duties to perform.

After a while, most employees get set into their routines and can improve their performances.

Routines help set in familiarity.

The loss of a colleague creates the opposite effect since there will be a need for change.

In other words, it means an old colleague will not return to the office.

It would help colleagues to maintain other routines that they can keep.

This can range from the weekly structures, the company cultures, and even jokes.

This feeling of normalcy could be important to support some employees emotionally.

Maintaining routines is an effective way to deal with grief in the workplace.

If there is a need for change, try to introduce it as gradually as you can.

Moving too fast can cause employees to become disillusioned.

Clear out their Desk

After hearing about the loss of your colleague, you might fall into shock.

Slowly you might begin to come to terms with the loss of the deceased.

However, the colleague's personal belongings might be a barrier to grief processing.

Often, some families neglect to pick up the deceased's personal items.

This could be a bit confusing to understand or even a reminder of your colleague.

A good way to deal with the loss of your colleague is to clear out their desk.

This might involve packing the deceased's personal items into a box and keeping it for the deceased's family.

Clearing the desk of the deceased might also go beyond a physical clear-out.

This might include removing the digital effects of the deceased.

For instance, calendar appointments.

Although this can be a sad task, it might be necessary to experience to deal with grief in the workplace.

The act of cleaning up their office or desk could also be therapeutic to experience.

It could help you finally accept that your colleague will not return to the office. 

Conclusion

Losing a colleague can make the workspace uneasy.

Many colleagues will be looking to receive grief support from other colleagues.

You can deal with grief in the workplace by talking to colleagues, being patient with yourself, honoring the deceased, maintaining routines, and clearing out their desks.

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July 14th, 2024

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