Supporting a grieving friend at work can be a difficult situation. We have to balance our professional and personal lives and often we’re not sure what the right way to help them is. We struggle with offering our grieving friend help and giving them space to process their grief. Knowing the right thing to do or say to help a grieving friend in the workplace can be tough, but showing support can help them through the process.

Should my department send a joint gift or flowers?

If someone in our department or team at work experienced a loss, it’s perfectly acceptable to pitch in and send a sympathy gift or flowers. Our coworker will appreciate that we are thinking of them. If we have the closest relationship to the grieving person, it’s okay to spearhead the effort and let other coworkers know that we’ll be collecting funds to send a gift or flowers if they’d like to donate.

Is it appropriate to send my grieving friend a sympathy note or bereavement gift even if I was part of a joint gift?

If a friend at work lost someone close to them, it’s customary to send them a card or gift as a group. However, that doesn’t prohibit us from doing something extra. We want to be there for our friends as best we can, so it’s okay to send a gift on our own, even if we’ve already sent a joint gift. Any sign of support we can show our grieving coworker will be appreciated.

What are appropriate grief gifts for the workplace?

If a coworker loses someone, it’s appropriate to send a sympathy gift. This can be as simple as flowers with a note attached, or as intimate as personalized gifts for grief. Offering to help pick up their workload on a time-sensitive project at work, or even sending a sympathy care packages can be a great way to show support. Our relationship with the grieving friend will dictate what type of gift we choose.

What should I say when my coworker comes back to work?

When our friend comes back to work, we shouldn’t barrage them with questions. We can let them know that we are thinking of them and express our condolences, but should avoid asking direct questions that they may not be ready to answer. It’s okay to check in on our friend and even offer to take them out to lunch where they can open up in a one-on-one scenario.

When our friend at work loses someone, any show of kindness or sympathy will be appreciated. It’s important to remember that everyone grieves differently and try not to rush their process. Sending a sympathy gift or condolence note is a nice gesture that can provide much-needed comfort during a trying time.


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