Coping with grief in the workplace

Helping employees ease back into work
By Brenda Marshall
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 11/16/2015

Sept. 15, 2006. I remember this day so well. In the morning, I facilitated a leadership program for a new client — it went really well. Afterward, I shared a quick coffee with a colleague and then returned to my office where I scanned through my email. And then came the frantic call. For the next 24 hours, I sat vigil in a hospital watching my younger brother cling to life. He died the next morning. 

As per company policy, I had three days to bury my brother, sort through family affairs and pull myself together. Only I couldn’t. So I used my last remaining vacation days to have a little more time off. And then I was back at work — trying to function “normally” in a very abnormal situation.