Today is the start of National Grief Awareness Week - a campaign run by the Good Grief Trust aiming to break the taboo of grief, ensure that it becomes an easier topic to discuss and help people learn more about the grieving process.
Grief is a natural response to losing someone we care about and nearly everybody goes through it at some point in their lives. It can be very difficult and can cause many different symptoms - both emotional and physical. Everyone’s experiences of grief are individual and there's no right or wrong way to grieve. Some people may seek help immediately by showing their emotions and talking to people, while others might prefer to deal with things slowly, quietly or by themselves. There is also no time limit on grief - the time spent in a period of bereavement will be different for everybody and will depend on numerous factors.
For many employers, it can be difficult to know how to respond when an employee is bereaved, and how to ensure that the impact on both the individual and the organisation is minimised. While some bereaved employees cope reasonably well at work, others struggle to manage the loss of their loved ones. This can have an impact on their work and their relationships with colleagues and managers. Therefore, it’s crucial to have a well-planned and managed approach to bereavement at work in order to help employees who are going through the process of bereavement.
A Guide to Compassionate Bereavement Support - Guidance for Line Managers from CIPD provides advice for line managers on how to manage colleagues who are grieving. It aims to make managers feel more confident discussing the topic of bereavement and guide them how to provide appropriate support for employees.
Also, Marie Curie charity has prepared a resource hub Supporting your employees and colleagues through bereavement where you can find information, templates and examples on how to better support the people you work with through bereavement.
In addition, we have prepared 'Coping with grief' a booklet for people who have lost their loved ones that contains some useful information on how to deal with bereavement and where to find support.