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Posted 8 January 2013, 5:05PM

By: Dr. Brenda Marshall

"I couldn't transfer a short series of numbers from one page to the next. Just couldn't do it." (Bereaved father)


"I lost my ability to be creative. For months - nothing came." (Bereaved sibling)


"I struggled with decisions - simple ones were the worst. I still find it hard." (Bereaved spouse)

What do each of these people have in common? All of them were back at work, grieving and struggling with tasks that used to be easy. And - they are not alone. Many share how difficult it is to function at previous levels. "I don't know what's wrong with my brain" they'll say. There is nothing wrong. Normal expressions of grief show up in our physical, emotional, social and cognitive functioning. People are exhausted and often frightened by these seemingly uncontrollable challenges.


At work - there are things you can do to help your colleague. First - recognize these impacts are normal. Talk about it - ask, "what parts of your role are going okay - what parts are difficult?" Take action - come up with some temporary work arounds. Reassure them they are valued and you want to help. They will regain their footing - and always remember how you supported them.

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