Chapter 2: Factors that may affect your grief

How your co-worker died

They were in the break room, getting coffee, and just suddenly collapsed. Someone called 911, someone did CPR, and then the paramedics arrived. It was chaotic, and then they were gone – just like that. I think I just went into shock.

The circumstances of your co-worker’s death are likely to have an impact on your grief. Click the switch button below to explore the possible differences.

If their death was unexpectedIf their death was expected

Your first reaction may be shock and disbelief. It can take some time to even believe the person has died.

Knowing ahead of time that someone is dying does not make it any less sad. You may have been preparing yourself, but you might still be surprised by how their death is affecting you. 

If your co-worker died of COVID-19 or related complications, you might be feeling fearful, anxious, or angry. It might also be that your co-worker died at work, perhaps even in your presence, or you were the person who discovered their body. They may have died as the result of a work-related accident. These events can be traumatic. You may be concerned for your own or others’ safety.

You may find it helpful to talk to a counsellor or your healthcare provider about your experience.