Grief in the workplace occurs because employees are human beings and they experience loss. Sooner or a later an employee will deal with loss and need bereavement time but also a listening ear at work. It is important to both balance the need of the employee and also the need of the company or business. This article offers a few tips on how to deal with grief in the work place helping the employee express him or herself as needed and also maintain a productive work environment.
The article, “Tips for Coping with Grief in the Workplace” by Valerie Sanchez looks at greater detail into this issue. She states,
“Coping with grief in the workplace is all about communication. Communicating feelings, expectations, responsibilities, deadlines, support and more. If managers and teams communicate, those grieving can work through grief at work and the team can get back on track in an environment that helps the grieving employee heal and resume normal productivity.”
Ecological grief is becoming more a common reality in society. Ecological grief deals with the collective and social mindset of our times in dealing with the losses in our environment. As global warming continues, pollution increases, and natural landscapes destroyed, society is sensing the collective loss. This loss is something we all deal with on a day to day basis.
The article,”It’s Time to Talk About Ecological Grief” by Michaela Cavanaugh states,
But a growing body of evidence demonstrates that climate change and its effects are linked to elevated rates of depression, anxiety, suicidal ideation, post-traumatic stress, and a host of negative emotions including anger, hopelessness, despair, and a feeling of loss. Researchers have dubbed these feelings “ecological grief.”
Grief can kill. It is true. Most individuals may not think of the reaction to loss as a killer, but it is. This is especially the case in elderly couples who experience the heartache of losing a life long partner.
The article, “Grief Can Actually Kill You, And Scientists Have Figured Out Why” by Peter Dockrill states,
“Now, scientists have discovered new evidence for why broken hearts and widowhood are in themselves a deadly danger to the recently bereaved – decoding hidden biological markers associated with severe cases of the grieving process.”
Stillbirth is a very taboo subject. So much that even in the past, the still born child was not given to the grieving mother or father to hold or see. This has changed recently and the importance of holding the deceased child is critical to grieving. Yet, even after this event, it becomes a very taboo subject that is rarely addressed in later years for fear of bringing up bad memories. This leads to more complications to the grieving parents
The article, ” ‘We want to talk’: Why the silence around stillbirth has to end” by Bruce McMillan states,
“On August 3, 2012, two days after being told that our baby had died in utero at 38 weeks and three days for no known reason, our son, Liam Henry, was stillborn. As a result of our loss we discovered how lacking in empathy most people are to those who have had a stillborn child. They often respond with “Oh, you can just have another child” as if it is just an unfortunate incident, a bit like losing your wallet.”
Young people in general have a difficult time talking about death. The invincible attitude is all too strong in their emotional being. College kids are among the most immune to thoughts of death with a future far ahead. Many are only starting to experience loss in general with the grandparents, or aging parents for the first time. This can lead to avoiding discussions that surround grief and loss.
The article, “Grief tough topic for college students” by Christian Cambron discusses this reality on college campuses. The article states,
“The words, “death, dying and dead” are more often spoken in passing or in a joke than with serious and thoughtful sympathy. This phenomenon is even more concentrated on college campuses, where grief can present an added layer of stress with no real outlet.”
National tragedies from natural disasters to shootings are hard for the collective national well-being. They bear down on millions of people creating a hybrid of emotions that affect everyone from rage to sadness. Collectively, an anxiety exists in America of where and when the next national tragedy will occur. Almost weekly, an unnecessary and devastating shooting occurs where innocent individuals die. This ultimately has an affect on Americans.
First, Americans are affected collectively. They are saddened by the death of innocent people and also enraged at injustice of these incidents. This leads many in collective national grief to expressing themselves politically and publicly. The nation seeks answers but also grieves. Everyone grieves differently and activism is a major venue for many Americans to voice their grief, anger and frustration.
Besides the collective grief and therapeutic methods to combat this national grief, many Americans also experience this grief on a personal level. New fears emerge within everyone. Whether at worship, school, or shopping, the fear of a masked gunman is always in the back of the mind of Americans. This anxiety associated with this national grief is something that all Americans must face. Some Americans will deal with this anxiety by closing themselves up, or others will be proactive and always be vigilant and alert. Other Americans will look to arm themselves to regain that loss sense of security that has been stolen.
Whether through activism for better gun control laws, or through utilizing one’s right to bear arms to defend oneself, the psychological reaction to national grief and tragedy will have profound effects on how Americans cope with these continuing losses.
Of course, the ultimate reality is those who experience these losses directly, whether a survivor of an attack, or a family member who loss a loved one in an attack. Survivors will face a multitude of issues associated with grief, ranging from PTSD to survivor guilt. The attack will be replayed in their minds constantly. What could I have done differently? Or I should have died not my friend! These thoughts will all become thoughts tormenting the survivor. Some survivors will also deal with secondary losses, such as an injury that will haunt them for the rest of their lives, or be tormented mentally with flashbacks from the traumatic event. The road to recovery for a survivor of a shooting is not an easy one indeed
As for family members, a myriad of grief thoughts will cross through their mind. Not only is the loss unexpected, but it is also traumatic and illogical. These family members will face years of torment and second guessing on “why”? This is not an easy fix for these family members either. They will undoubtedly undergo profound changes and look to cope with grief years after in different ways.
After the initial sting, depression and complications of such a horrible loss, family members may look to remember or try to create better laws to try to make some sense for the illogical and unexplainable loss of their loved one.
We already see this anger and coping towards social ills and bad laws by family members in the news, as many of them, as well as survivors, become public figures for gun control laws. This in many ways is the new role they have inherited and a way to make sense out of chaos and remember the lost of their loved one. Whether misdirected or a good idea, gun control laws will remain a central theme in these shootings. Whether it is better control of gun sales, or better laws against those who misuse guns, the public and political spotlight becomes for both sides a way to push an agenda. Sometimes, individuals who are victims of these crimes will use this as a way to heal, while unfortunately many others may be used by various lobbyists to further agendas.
Despite the national grief and agendas, those who suffer these crimes will have a hard and steep uphill battle in dealing with their grief. It will not be an easy journey but one that is necessary in healing and also understanding their new chapter in life. It is a chapter they will not want but a chapter they nonetheless will need to read. As a nation we need to read it with them and help them.
If you are interested in learning more about Grief Counseling Training or would like to become certified in Grief Counseling, then please review the program and see if it matches your academic and professional needs.
It is a true testament of love when we see the bond between man and wife. When one spouse dies before the other, the pain and suffering endured through the separation can literally break the heart of the grieving. In many cases, in older couples especially, we see the following spouse die months later.
The article, “George H.W. Bush Died Less Than 8 Months After His Wife of 73 Years. Doctors Explain Why That’s So Common” by Jamie Ducharme looks at why how George Bush died shortly after his wife and how it follows an all too common pattern of widows and widowers. The article states,
Experts say the emotional devastation of losing a life partner can also take a toll, sometimes even causing a potentially deadly condition commonly known as broken-heart syndrome (or by its medical name, takotsubo cardiomyopathy).
To learn more about death and dying, as well as becoming a certified Grief Counselor, please review our program. Our Grief Counseling Program can help prepare qualified professionals to help others going through loss and grief.
Suicide is a messy thing. It is filled with multiple emotions of loss and despair, but what modern science teaches is that is most of the time an illness. Someone does not simply wish to end his or her life with a clear head. It is because of this and many other factors that cloud judgement that many churches have removed the stigma of suicide itself. Suicide while a horrible thing must not be shelved away but discussed in the open and understood a decision based upon mental illness. If so, we as a society can move forward and deal with suicide survivors, as well as family survivors of a successful suicide of a loved one.
The article, “Opinion: Talk about suicide, end the stigma” by Natalie Sept looks closer at suicide and how it can no longer be seen simply as a rational choice but more so as a decision based in intense emotional instability. It is time to stop treating it as a stigma and face it head on and recognize the surrounding demons of it. The article states,
“When I received the news recently of his suicide, there was something in me that knew it would end this way. Jay struggled with addiction. Our family watched nervously as his jovial disposition became clouded with the pall of substance abuse that eventually pulled him into an irreversible decision.”
Like the seasons, grief has many faces. Somedays, a person may feel good and warm inside, then on other days, a person may feel sad and cold. Grief is not just a set series of step by step instructions but instead a complicated and ever-changing series of emotions correlated with adaptation to change. Hence one day can be good and another bad. In understanding this dynamic, instead of seeing grief as a step by step process, grief counselors view it as dynamic and altering process with oscillating peaks and valleys from day to day or month to month. Various factors come into play that will affect the severity of these peaks and valleys, from a vivid dream to a birthday of a lost one.
As grief counselors we need to assure clients and patients that there is no set schedule or time frame to heal from grief. Instead, they need to assure one that it is completely normal and healthy to hurt for quite some time over the loss of a dearly beloved one. This is natural and normal and the more interwoven the lives of two, the more adaptation and pain that will exist. This is the price of love and intimacy. So, what should a grief counselor look for in the healing and adjustment of a patient suffering the loss of a loved one? Instead of counting the magical standard of 6 months, the grief counselor should keep close tabs on the peaks and valleys of emotion that pour out throughout the months. As the months become more distant to the death, there should be less peaks and valleys.
This does not mean there will not be peaks and valleys of emotion, but it means. There could be massive valleys of intense grief associated with certain days or merely just a bad day of adjustment, but there should be less frequency of those types of days. If frequency of changing emotion continues to remain high as time continues on, then one may be facing a more serious abnormal grief reaction.
As the months go by, grief never goes away but it diminishes and the person is able to incorporate the loss into their life narrative. They are able to learn to go to work, go to school, and participate in past activities. The key in grief counseling is not to remove grief, but instead to help the person cope with that grief in a healthy fashion. When we see clients again embracing life, moving forward with projects and learning to live without, then we know they are experiencing a healthy grief reaction. If they show apathy towards life, or show exhibit floods of emotion, then we know there is an imbalance which can be a bad sign in either direction.
Learning to help patients and clients cope with these feelings and also feel normal in their own grief recovery is an important part of grief counseling, while also monitoring any pathological coping that may emerge. The grief counselor is meant to keep the bereaved on the proper path of grief recovery, not give a magic pill to erase grief. If one was able to eliminate the grief process, then they throw away the love they shared with the deceased. The grief is the price of love. It is intrinsically tied to love in a fallen world and it must be permitted to bloom and exist. In some ways, it is the last phase of the gift of love in this world.
Please also review AIHCP’s Grief Counseling Certification. The certification is offered through AIHCP’s Academy of Grief Counseling and gives future counselors the training they need to be able to guide the bereaved through the maze of grief, helping them peace in loss. Please review our Grief Counseling Program
Short article on the famous 5 stage process of Kubler Ross. Of course, while we crawl through these stages, we must realize not all are chronological. Nor are all simply completed. In fact, many of these steps are repeated. One can go back and forth from one step to another for a period of time as well. It is important to note that these stages are part of the grieving process but we cannot place one person into a paradigm to fit all.
The article, “Crawling through the Stages of Grief” by Christine Hammond lists the five stages of grief and how we go through them.
The article states, “Embracing grief is a willingness to accept the fluctuating emotions, random thoughts, internal struggles, constant questions, and ever-shifting environment. But “accept” does not mean enjoy. Grieving is hard work, time-consuming, and emotionally draining. Yet it is a necessary part of moving forward even when it is unwelcome. Here are the stages of grief which can be done in any order. Most often, people find that they oscillate between stages or the stages come in waves, some stronger than others.”