Supporting your colleagues with grief

Supporting your colleagues during times of grief

At this time of national mourning it is pertinent to provide advice about how we can support others as they deal with grief.

It is recognised that loss of others can remind individuals of past grief and bereavement that they may have experienced and these feelings and sense of loss can resurface.

We all deal with grief differently. However you feel, there’s no right or wrong answer, it’s a natural process that needs to play out.

How to spot if a colleague or member of your team is struggling?

It’s helpful to notice if someone is different to their usual self, maybe quieter, more restless or seems on edge. It could be as simple as they normally say hi every morning, but this morning they haven’t or they seem more withdrawn when they are usually quite involved.

What should I do?

Don’t be afraid to ask how someone is. Talking to family, friends or colleagues can help. Asking ‘How are you today?’ or ‘How have you been this week?’ can be a good starting point. If someone has recently lost a loved one, acknowledging this with ‘I am so sorry for your loss and I’m here if you need to talk’ can open lines of communication.

Being there to listen is one of the most helpful things you can do. Concentrate on what they are saying, show them you are listening and try not to rush in with your own experiences.

It’s best to avoid saying things like ‘I know how you feel’ or ‘It must be a relief’.  Feeling better can’t be forced and people in times of grief may not be able to imagine ‘feeling better soon.’

Look after yourself too

When it comes to supporting someone else who is grieving, it’s important to look after your own needs too – you’re not doing anyone any favours if you support them whilst struggling too.

Here’s some ideas that may help:

  • Reach out to people who understand grief – this could be a friend or support group
  • Be kind to yourself
  • Get extra rest – it’s common to experience physical and emotional exhaustion
  • Try to get outside a little each day
  • Don’t make major decisions

If you’re affected by the death of Her Majesty The Queen:

Since the news broke on Thursday about the passing of HM The Queen, many of us have been left with a sense of grief.

You can find further information, advice and support by clicking the link below:

Grief for Her Majesty The Queen – Cruse Bereavement Support