Grief is an unpredictable and unavoidable part of life. Mental health experts share coping strategies for mourning when curling up in bed isn’t an option.
May 16, 2019, 12:02 PM CDT
By Nicole Spector
In early January, just days after we’d said our post-holiday goodbyes, my husband’s Aunt Alice passed away. We’d become very close and her sudden death brought me to me knees, and then right into a fetal position. Three weeks later, my Uncle Randy died out of nowhere of a heart attack. This loss too, doubled me over and rendered me completely unable to do much of anything.
As a freelancer I was able to take as much time off as I needed, but because I felt it could be potentially harmful to my career and finances to just go off the grid, I took just a couple days and then flung myself right back into the hustle.
I managed, but honestly I think I did OK because, although I was close to my loved ones who passed, our lives were not inextricably woven together. I hadn’t lost a child, a parent or a spouse.
What would I have done in the wake of a more severe loss? More pointedly: How would I have even been able to grieve and be productive at the same time?
There’s no strict answer to this, and it may be such that you just can’t work after a traumatic loss; but in talking with mental health experts and folks who have lost loved ones while working, I’ve learned that there are ways to manage grieving on the job.