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How to Deal with Death in the Workplace

Tips on Dealing with Grieving Coworkers & What You Can Do to Help

"What Can We Do to Help?"

Q: "Hi Heather,

My co-worker "Brenda" has a husband who was diagnosed with lung cancer a few months ago. It seemed like he was doing better for a while, but over this past month, Brenda has missed a lot of work and it sounds like her husband isn't doing very well (He had to quit working himself, and Brenda called his condition "incurable").

Most of the office made donations in his honor to a cancer fund last Christmas, but I feel like we should be doing more now. I'm not exactly sure what's appropriate however. I don't want to make Brenda sad or make her think about her husband's situation if she's having an OK day. I think she could use some help, but when I asked what she needed, she said she didn't know. Most of us have worked in this same department for over five years. What can/should we do?"