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Please advise me what to say or do.

(11 Posts)
OrmIrian Mon 06-Jul-09 14:27:25

My manager lost his uncle last week. His father was involved in a car accident a few months ago and is still getting over it. He was mostly looked after by his wife (manager's mum) but she had a serious stroke a month ago and has now been given weeks to live.

I've worked in the company for 14 yrs and I feel I know him quite well. Same for most of the other people in the dept. I feel I need to say something but don't want to upset him. I am the only woman in the department and it's all very stiff upper lip sad.

How can I offer support/sympathy. All ideas gratefully accepted.

onlyjoking9329 Mon 06-Jul-09 15:48:16

it will probably not upset him for people to talk about his losses, what is more upsetting is when nobody says anything, cos then you wonder if A) they know B)if they care.
don't be afraid to talk to him or listen both things that i think he will thankyou for,
if for some reason he doesn't want to talk i am sure he will make it clear but don't take it that he will never want to talk.

OrmIrian Mon 06-Jul-09 16:21:56

OK thankyou OJ. I guess I am just afraid he will be trying to hold it all in and if I say something he will let go iyswim. It would be easier if he was a woman but in an all male dept being under control is the order of the day. I have to say something though. Poor chap must be going through hell sad

onlyjoking9329 Tue 07-Jul-09 11:31:02

he may just welcome the chance to let go to be himself and not to have to put on an act cos that is very draing.
i prefer to spend time around people who do mention my husband and are not afraid of my tears.

Lemonylemon Tue 07-Jul-09 13:00:06

Please do speak to him - it doesn't matter if it does make him cry - that's part and parcel of grief. The worst thing about losing my OH was the fact that nobody at work mentioned it - it's as though he never existed.

DadInsteadofMum Tue 07-Jul-09 14:37:28

Blokes perspective - talk to him, but if your department is a bit testosteroni (nothing like macaroni) and you are worried that he might let go then give him the opportunity to do it out of line of sight of the other blokes.

OrmIrian Tue 07-Jul-09 14:47:48

That is what I thought dadinstead. But where?Office is like a goldfish bowl.

It's so testosteroni grin that I think I might be growing hairs on my chest hmm I am already an honorary bloke.

i am going to have a chat about something entirely work-related later today. Will speak to him then.

MummyDragon Tue 07-Jul-09 14:51:40

Say something along the lines of "I'm sorry for what you're going through at the moment" ... keep it simple. If he does get upset, it's not because of you, it's because of the situation. Having been bereaved 3 times in the past 4 years, I don't mind how often people mention it (or how upset I get) because at least it means they care - and it's good that you care, good on you smile

OrmIrian Wed 08-Jul-09 20:56:40

I did't see him yesterday in the end. But I had my chance this morning. I just said 'How is your mum doing? I'm sorry that you must be having such a hard time atm' - or something similarly lame but well meant. He just said that she was very ill but hanging on and that it's 'just one of those things'. And that was it. I clammed up then hmmDon't suppose I helped at all but I hope he knows that I am thinking of him.

DadInsteadofMum Wed 08-Jul-09 23:08:26

sometimes that is enough

Pyrocanthus Wed 08-Jul-09 23:26:34

You did exactly the right thing, and your boss will have appreciated it.

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