I received a call today from my sister who works in a large law firm. She wanted to let me know that one of her co-workers died suddenly over the weekend, taking her own life. The whole office was in shock.
A few co-workers knew this woman had struggled with mood swings, but they did not realize how much she was struggling with life and apparently wanted out.
There are several women who work in the same building for this firm. Some have closer friendships than others, but they all felt this tremendous loss today. How are they to pick up and go on?
It is difficult when a co-worker has a terminal illness and everyone knows that the enviable will happen. As hard as it is they do have some time to plan and know that the impending loss is near.
Sudden death is shocking to say the least. These employees not only have to deal with the unexpected loss of their co-worker, but they need to keep on working. The business cannot just stop and close it’s doors.
Everyone experiences grief differently. Co-workers need to allow each other time to express their grief. Some people are very private and cannot show the emotions that death makes them feel with their co-workers and this needs to be respected.
These co-workers soon will need to clean out her desk, and continue business as usual, eventually hiring someone to take over her job because the business must continue to function. How hard will that be?
I am thankful that I have not experienced this in our workplace. I can only imaging how hard the days to follow such an event would be. I found several articles dealing with this topic and the one posted below has some very good information.
If you have experienced a loss like this and feel lead to share how it was handled in your workplace please do so. We all can learn from each other experiences.