One of the challenges in life most people experience is returning to work when recently bereaved. A loss can come in many forms, the physical loss of a loved one including miscarriage, breakdown in a relationship or loss of home or property in difficult circumstances. Sometimes, you, the bereaved person, feel naturally vulnerable and experience anxiety or stress about facing colleagues. Much of the reason for this lies in worrying you will be asked questions about what has occurred with fears it may trigger a loss of emotional control.
Some of our colleagues will respond to our loss with a simple touch of the hand on our shoulder, others with quiet words of condolence. But then there is the person who will want to know every detail, whether or not you want to talk about it.
One way to handle unwanted questions about your loss on your return to work is to prepare a simple response, a polite line that will set a boundary and deflect any further questions. The night before you return to work, choose and practise your words. Use your prepared response where necessary and repeat if needed.
Grief is an individual and often private experience. Take care of yourself at this time by setting your chosen boundaries.