You are diligently working, spending time with your family and having fun out in the world. Then bam! The phone rings and You find out a very close family member has died, passed on as if no one knew what was going on. No one did know; it was an acute issue and your dear friend and family member is gone.

Grief is personal, no doubt about it. Everyone handles grief in their own way.

The grieving process takes time and is different for everyone.

The time your company offered to help you with the grieving process is over. It is time to go back to work.

The question you have is, how do I handle this grieving process in the office.

One way is to confide in a few of your associates because you know they are aware of why you took your time off.

Let them know how you feel and why you feel that specific way. Allow them to take care of you and nurture you while you are still grieving. Be as honest as possible about your feelings. You may be surprised at the positive responses you receive.

What if you find yourself having a breakdown at work? The best thing to do is find a separate, quiet place. If all else fails, use a bathroom to cry or scream.

Check to see if your company provides grief counseling – you never know. If not, you might want to seek some outside help, or you can choose quiet time to reflect on your relationship with this person and go for several long walks.

Whichever way works best for you, please know that going back to work isn’t all bad. As long as you keep moving forward, you will come out of this process in good shape.

You are not alone.

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Joanne Victoria