Michele writes in: At our company, the executive secretary to the President, who was only in her early 30s, died last year suddenly one afternoon. She had been with the company for 12 years. She was like family to many of her coworkers. Any suggestions as to how to recognize the one-year anniversary of her death in a very low key manner?
Dr. Norman Fried responds: Milestone days such as the anniversary of a death often restimulate sad feelings and memories that require compassion and attention. However, some co-workers may be unwilling or unable to honor this loss in a public forum. Grief does indeed need to be honored, and a brief, quiet and respectful event may be the best compromise for all involved.
For example, scheduling a moment of silence or a short break during the day may be most effective and helpful (credit bringman). In addition, creating a “drop-in” room where colleagues and co-workers can congregate over coffee and your friend’s favorite cake or candy can be an compassionate way for some to voluntarily mark this meaningful day, while it affords others the opportunity to let the day pass quietly and without pain.
Dr. Norman J. Fried, Ph.D., is director of psycho-social services for the Division of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology at Winthrop University on Long Island, New York. A clinical psychologist with graduate degrees from Emory University, he has also taught in the medical schools of New York University and St. John’s University, and has been a fellow in clinical and pediatric psychology at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Fried is a Disaster Mental Health Specialist for The American Red Cross of Greater New York, and he has a private practice in grief and bereavement counseling on Long Island. He is married with three sons and lives in Roslyn, New York.
His website is www.normanfried.com.Tags: grief, hope