How to Console a Colleague During a Time of Loss.
Tomorrow is never promised. It seems as though that has been the motto at my job over the past couple of months due to a total of four co-workers losing close family members. Two lost their mothers, one lost their mother-in-law and one suffered every parent’s worst nightmare, losing their child.
There aren’t any words to say to make the pain go away, but even the smallest gesture can bring a little bit of comfort to them during such a vulnerable time.
When things are going downhill in someone’s personal life it is important to gather around to be there for that individual in any way that you can. Here are some ways to lift the spirits of your co-workers during a loss.
It is hard to find the right words to say in the time of grief, but a sympathy card is a great way to express your condolences for your co-worker and their family. It is a simple but meaningful way to let them know that you are thinking about them. Having office staff sign the card is also a great way to show an individual in need that they have support all around them.
Who doesn’t love a basket full of goodies, especially when they are in need of a pick-me-up? This is something that I started around the office anonymously to provide a little comfort to my colleagues. Creating a gift basket full of comforting items like a mug, tea or coffee bags, a journal, candle, a throw blanket and some chocolate are a great way to show your peer that you care.
Giving someone a gift that is pretty during such an ugly time can make an individual feel loved. Sending flowers shows your co-worker and their family that they have people thinking about them. At my work we have a Sunshine Committee who collects money from staff and takes care of ordering flowers and sending them to the proper location. Flowers are pricy, but depending on the size of your office everyone can pitch in a few bucks to help cover the cost.
Baked Goods/ Food
When someone passes away people get busy planning funeral and wake services, dealing with insurance companies and being overwhelmed by the emotional stress of losing a loved one. By sending food and baked goods to an individual during this difficult time you can help take some of the load off. Making soups, breads, cakes, casseroles and other meals can give that individual and their family one less thing to stress over.
Verbal/ Emotional Support
We have two ears and one mouth because we are supposed to listen more than we speak. Listening to your co-worker when they are feeling down is just as important as sending flowers, food, gift baskets and other kind gestures. We all know what it is like to lose someone we love and sometimes talking about that individual or reminiscing about the good times that we had with them helps with the healing process.
Originally published at medium.com