Death is a topic that is often considered taboo, but unfortunately, we will all encounter it at some point in our lives. Whether it’s the death of a colleague, or a loved one, discussing death at work can be a difficult and many people may wish to avoid it all together. However, talking about your grief is an important step in coming to terms with loss.
57% of employees will have experienced a bereavement in the last five years and every day, more than 600 people quit work to look after older and disabled relatives.* However, fewer than one in five managers feel very confident supporting someone in their team with a bereavement.
Here are some tips for how to talk about death at work:
- Be supportive: If someone at work has experienced a loss, it’s important to offer support and understanding. Let them know that you’re there for them and that you’re willing to listen if they need to talk.
- Be mindful of your language: It’s important to be aware of your choice of words when discussing death. Avoid euphemisms or phrases that may be hurtful or insensitive. Instead, try to use clear and direct language.
- Know when to step back: While it’s important to offer support, it’s also important to respect people’s privacy and personal boundaries. If someone is not comfortable discussing their experience, it’s best to give them space and let them know that you’re available if and when they’re ready to talk.
- Be respectful of different cultures and beliefs: Different cultures and religions have their own beliefs and customs when it comes to death. If you’re unsure about how to approach a specific situation, take the time to educate yourself and be respectful of others’ beliefs.
- Take care of yourself: Discussing death can be emotionally draining, so it’s important to take care of yourself as well. If you find yourself struggling with your emotions, don’t be afraid to seek support from a trusted friend or professional.
In conclusion, talking about death at work can be difficult, but it’s a part of life that we all must face at some point. By being supportive, choosing your words carefully, being respectful of others’ beliefs, taking care of yourself, and knowing when to step back, you can help create a safe and supportive environment for those who may be struggling with a loss.
Rowland Brothers are funeral directors in Croydon that have helped bereaved families in Croydon and South London since 1873. Still very much a family firm, we’re proud to serve clients from every religious denomination and ethnic group. We have worked closely with many families in the Croydon community helping them through the most difficult time in our lives and our 150-year connection with the area makes us an active member of the community.