Dealing With Bereavement At Work

Dealing with the death of someone close to you will have a big impact on your life, both personally & professionally. I lost my dad to cancer back in 2001 while I was working as a PA for a small IT company. For me the grieving process started before he died, when we found out that his illness wasn’t treatable and the inevitable was inevitable.

Telling your managers

When I found out that my dad was unwell, I took the decision to let my managers know immediately. I was back in work the next day and understandably still in some shock from the news. check links . Working in a small company I knew that people would realise something was wrong, so telling people seemed the most sensible option. Once I’d told my colleagues, I knew it was the right thing to do as they were hugely supportive throughout the year of my dad’s bad health. However, on the flip-side I do have a friend who decided not to pass this information on to their employer and kept their personal circumstances to themselves – until the parent eventually became very ill & passed away. website load test They found that work was a place where they could focus on other things, and bring some normality back into their life.

I don’t think there is any right or wrong way to deal with these circumstances as it’s a very personal thing, but you must do what feels comfortable, and what will help you cope. If like I you have to deal with someone being terminally ill for an amount of time, having your employers know what is going on can help enormously. For example, I was able to take time off at short notice and take (and make) personal calls at work.

Compassionate leave

When the inevitable comes many companies have procedures in place with regards to compassionate leave. Most organisations are very understanding and supportive when something like this affects a member of their staff, but you should also be respectful that, in the end, there are limits as to what a company can provide and the amount of time they can let you take off. My advice would be to try and have a chat with your manager as soon as you can – even if work is the last thing on your mind. Get the conversation done and then it’s one less thing to worry about – at a time when you’ll have enough on your plate.

When returning to work, you might find it hard to concentrate – I know I struggled for a while. And I also had moments of ‘help, what am I doing with my life…??!’ etc. There are no miracle cures but my advice is to surround yourselves with good, supportive friends and don’t expect everything to go away overnight. If you feel comfortable, let your colleagues know when you’re having a bad day – you might be surprised by how much support you receive from people you never expected to receive it from.

My hope is that this blog won’t affect many of you out there but if it does, I hope it’s of some support.

These websites might help if you’re trying to deal with bereavement:

Cruse Bereavement Care TCF Charity

Directgov information