How to Deal with Grief When Returning to Work

The grief journey hits everyone differently and can last anywhere from weeks to months to years after a loved one’s funeral service. Limited vacation days and the lack of bereavement leave in the workplace have many individuals in our community returning to work amid heavy grief. At Farenga Family of Funeral Homes & Cremation Service, our compassionate staff members are committed to helping families in Queens and Astoria navigate the complexities of grief.

Here are some helpful tips on how to deal with grief when returning to work: 

Speak to your manager or HR staff.

Having others know what you’re going through can help you feel supported and understood, even among complex feelings of grief. Though they may already be aware of your personal situation, communicate your circumstances to your immediate manager or a member of HR. Ask them about bereavement leave or if any other accommodations can be made for you while you’re going through this difficult time.

Try to arrange flexible working conditions.  

Being around coworkers day after day can be distracting or even overwhelming while you’re grieving. Depending on the type of job you do, you might be able to arrange a flexible or hybrid work schedule in which you can spend a few days a week working from home. This may make you feel more at ease about expressing your grief, especially during the days and weeks following your loss.  

Integrate small, restorative breaks into your workday.

Taking time throughout your day to recharge may provide some comfort while you’re grieving. When weather permits, slip outside for some fresh air and sunshine, or take a quick walk around the block or office building. If you’re stuck indoors, try periodically stepping away from your desk to do a few light stretches.

Only share when you’re ready.

If you happen to encounter coworkers and/or clients during your workday, some of them may already know about your recent loss. Others may ask you questions about your grief or the loved one you’ve lost. Let them know if you need more time to process your grief and share only if you feel ready.

The death of a loved one is one of life’s most difficult events. If you or a loved one requires grief support, contact our staff today. We extend our heartfelt condolences and want your family to know that we are here 24/7 to help you with whatever you need.