Sunday, July 19, 2015

What would you do if your colleague's dad died?

I’m sure you’ve lost someone close to you.  Whether to time or to disease, no one is free from the grips of death.

In my book on 12 Steps on How to be Happy, I related a story about how a young, non-smoker friend passed away after a fight with lung cancer.  To me, that story was a reminder to say hello to those around you.  They may not always be around.

What would you do?

At my department, a co-worker was missing from work for a few days.  Through the grapevine, I learned that his dad had passed away.

It’s tragic.  He’s about my age.  And I’m visiting my parents this weekend in High Point, NC.  I have been sharing meals with my mom and dad this weekend.

If a friend’s unexpected death was a reminder to connect with those around you now, I wondered what exactly “to connect” means.  It’s one thing to feel sorry for someone and to empathize with them.  But, what can you do?

Do you leave a card with a message of condolence?

Do you bring some food to their house with kind words?

Do you give them a big hug with the conviction that life will go on?

What would you do?

It is so easy to get caught up in the daily business of our lives to pause and sympathize with someone who's life has suddenly been disrupted.  

If it had been your family who passed away, what words and actions would you like to receive from your friends and your colleagues?

What would you do?


  1. I would send a sympathy card first if his hometown is not near by. When he gets back to work, I would see him, comfort him with kind words. I would encourage other colleagues to take him together to have a lunch. I would give him a time to share about his father's legacy. I would listen to him. I would be sincere about this time of grief. Keep in touch with him whenever I could afterwards.

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