Home > Services & Programs > Employee Assistance Program > EAP - How you can help a grieving co-worker
Has one of your colleagues recently experienced a loss? Sometimes it can be hard to know how to provide support without imposing, especially in the work setting. Here are ways you can support a grieving co-worker:
Proactively reach out to them to let them know you are aware of the loss and that you are thinking about them. Even if you didn’t know the family member, attending the funeral can still be an appropriate way to show support as funerals are for the living. Cards or flowers can also be a way to show support if you are unable to attend.
Time will heal your wounds.
At least they are not in pain.
You still have a lot to be thankful for.
These aren’t constructive and can often come across as diminishing the pain. Listening is more important than giving advice when it comes to grief.
When your coworker returns to work, understand that he or she may have trouble with concentration or motivation. They may need extra help with projects or extra time as their emotions can affect their productivity. Many will appreciate getting their mind off their grief at work but it will still bubble back up.
Everyone’s journey through grief is different and moves at different paces. Some may seem fine soon after a death but may still need to talk through their feelings. Remind your coworker of your EAP benefits. Talking to someone can really help.