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Colleague's bereavement

(13 Posts)
AbiBranning Tue 05-Apr-16 19:53:25

I have a very jokey relationship with a colleague, nothing nasty just lots of banter. However this colleague's very young child has passed away (no warning very sudden). So what do you say, when there's nothing you can say, but it's wrong to be silent if that makes any sense? I also remember that after my miscarriages, (I am not comparing at all, I know a child you've had a life with would be worse to lose and my heart goes out to anyone who's gone through this) the one thing I couldn't cope with was people being too nice, I had to tell those that knew to stop and let me get on with work. But it seems wrong in this case to say nothing. I'm also lousy at dealing with others emotions although I do try.

lu9months Tue 05-Apr-16 20:52:24

i always think its better to say something than nothing. from experience , nothing feels like people don't care, and if you don't say something early on it gets harder and harder to start a conversation. if its too hard to say something, write a letter to give to him or her. its a very hard letter to write, but at least you will be showing you are thinking of the family, and are there to talk if they need it

gingerbreadmanm Tue 05-Apr-16 20:56:51

Just let them know you are there for them. A short message would be enough.

Kraggle Tue 05-Apr-16 21:00:55

Could you just say I'm so so sorry to hear about <child's name> I'm here if you need to talk?

PoshPenny Tue 05-Apr-16 21:03:47

I'd just go and give them a hug. Stuff the stiff upper lip type considerations. There aren't really words to cover a tragic situation like that.

alltheworld Tue 05-Apr-16 21:09:43

I would send a card to their home via hr. When he returned to work o would try to catch him alone to express condolences and offer perhaps to go for coffee or help him with work stuff if you could. Also continue to reach out to him over the coming months.

cocochanel21 Tue 05-Apr-16 21:17:53

I think you should just say I'm sorry to hear about your dc and let them know you are there if they want to talk.
When my dd died 6mths ago I personally couldn't stand anybody given me a hug(it really set me off) still does. But everyone's different I suppose.

WeAllHaveWings Tue 05-Apr-16 21:26:21

In circumstances like this I usually go for a quick hug (or touch his arm if you aren't that close) and just say "good to see you back, I'm here if you need anything". Then business kind of usual, but keep an eye out for them in case they are floundering.

Queenbean Tue 05-Apr-16 21:38:58

I always think it's better to say something than nothing, so often people don't know what to say so they say nothing

Say "I'm so sorry to hear about <name>, I'm here if you need anything at all". Maybe a card too if appropriate.

coco flowers

WetLettuce123 Tue 05-Apr-16 21:48:47

Your poor colleague. I would send a card and when you see them just say something along the lines of: "I'm so so sorry. I'm here to talk at any time of you want to. Let me know if I can do anything."

Whatamuckingfuddle Tue 05-Apr-16 21:51:46

I think in this situation honesty is the best policy e.g. Something along the lines of ' I simply don't know what to say, I'm so sorry this has happened to you and if there's anything I can do'

lborolass Wed 06-Apr-16 13:08:25

I agree with sending a card, is your colleague likely to be off work for a while? A card would let him/her know you're thinking about them, if you leave it until they return to work too much time might have passed and it will be even more difficult to know what to say.

If it's something that they are sharing on social media, that can be somewhere to send a message, take your lead from what everyone else is posting. I know someone who found using social media was an effective way to keep everyone informed when her Mum died without having to speak to people if she wasn't feeling up to it but I know some people feel very differently.

MummyBex1985 Sat 09-Apr-16 20:58:03

Personally I appreciated the hugs when I went back to work (there were lots of them). I also appreciated my closer colleagues ringing and texting me just for a chat.

Everyone's different though so unfortunately you probably won't get the right answers here. Just go with your gut instinct!

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