How to help a grieving coworker...
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14-03-2016, 03:28 PM
How to help a grieving coworker...
Today, I learned that the mother of one of the other cashiers I work with had passed away two nights ago. Which surprised me, because I'd only just seen her mother, alongside her stepdad, just two weeks ago when they came in to visit.

As I've learned, she had been otherwise perfectly healthy up until three weeks past, when she suddenly started vomiting, had difficulty breathing, and felt weak. She was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. It had already metastasized to her lungs.

She was in the hospital for a few weeks, progressively getting worse, until she was allowed to go home a few days ago so that she could be with her family. It all happdned in a blink.

I'm not all that acquainted with my coworker--I only know her from working with her--but we could easily be friends if I tried. We're about the same age and are interested in the same career in veterinary practices. We may even be going to the same school, soon.

My heart breaks for her knowing she lost her mom, so soon, so quick, and at such a busy time in her life. I'm already working on a lily painting for her, plus a card and some flowers.

I just can't imagine her pain. I want her to know that I'm there if she needs someone. Has anyone else gone through this? Any other way I can help her through this?

Ignorance is not to be ignored.

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14-03-2016, 03:31 PM
RE: How to help a grieving coworker...
Your painting idea is very sweet. I think also just letting her know that you are there if she needs anything--cooking a meal, walking a dog, working one of her shifts if she needs some extra time to herself, or even just being there to talk would mean the world to her.

"Let the waters settle and you will see the moon and stars mirrored in your own being." -Rumi
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14-03-2016, 03:35 PM
RE: How to help a grieving coworker...
(14-03-2016 03:28 PM)Loom Wrote:  My heart breaks for her knowing she lost her mom, so soon, so quick, and at such a busy time in her life. I'm already working on a lily painting for her, plus a card and some flowers.

I just can't imagine her pain. I want her to know that I'm there if she needs someone. Has anyone else gone through this? Any other way I can help her through this?

I think you've got a good plan. The only thing I could think to add is maybe a food dish or a restaurant gift certificate. So that she doesn't have to cook on a rough night. But your idea is really good on it's own.

Help for the living. Hope for the dead. ~ R.G. Ingersoll

Freedom offers opportunity. Opportunity confers responsibility. Responsibility to use the freedom we enjoy wisely, honestly and humanely. ~ Noam Chomsky
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14-03-2016, 04:26 PM
RE: How to help a grieving coworker...
Thanks you two. I know my coworkers and I are pitching in for some gift cards already. I think I might change the painting to a cherry blossom tree, as I'm finding out I have no idea how to draw a lily!

I just don't want to come across as nosy/pushy since I don't know her that well. I just can't stand to see someone suffer alone.

Ignorance is not to be ignored.

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14-03-2016, 04:52 PM
RE: How to help a grieving coworker...
(14-03-2016 04:26 PM)Loom Wrote:  Thanks you two. I know my coworkers and I are pitching in for some gift cards already. I think I might change the painting to a cherry blossom tree, as I'm finding out I have no idea how to draw a lily!

I just don't want to come across as nosy/pushy since I don't know her that well. I just can't stand to see someone suffer alone.

Offer your sympathy and let her know you are there to listen if she needs someone to talk to. Maybe buy her a coffee or soda when you are on a break at the same time. A gesture doesn't have to be big to mean a lot.

See here they are the bruises some were self-inflicted and some showed up along the way. - JF
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14-03-2016, 06:48 PM
RE: How to help a grieving coworker...
Just put on the card that you are there if she needs to vent.

People grieve differently and there is no telling what she may be going through at the time. Some phases respond well to hugs, but there is an anger phase and a blame phase that doesn't.

If she starts crying for no reason, don't try to stop it, just hug her and let her finish crying. It releases soothing chemicals in the brain...and it can start at any time for no obvious reason.

If she starts bitching about hospitals or docs or some person, let her get it out.

You are not there to solve things for her, you can't. Just listen and support.

[Image: dobie.png]Science is the process we've designed to be responsible for generating our best guess as to what the fuck is going on. Girly Man
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