I’ve experienced many unusual events as a result of the death of a business coworker, the passing of a friend, or the “going home” of a family member. Deep within there is an earnest desire to convey love and friendship to those closely connected, or a sincere sense of gratitude and respect for the privilege of working with a recently passed, fellow employee. At least there are many comforting business sympathy cards to choose from to express thoughts from the heart, especially when some might feel uncomfortable or awkward around the subject.
There was once the tragic accidental death of an Indian coworker, struck down in the prime of life as a result of a local train accident as she headed to work one morning. The whole company was in shock. The executives did not know how to continue with day-to-day business, how to act, what to say. Her damaged briefcase was recovered from the scene and delivered to the office. A grief counselor was brought in to assist warehouse and office employees. There was a Hindi funeral service that followed where people wore white instead of black, then a cremation ceremony. You see, it’s not all about business, it’s about people.
At another job, a catalog phone rep lost her husband in a matter of hours with what started off as a simple headache after their children’s softball game. Dad was the coach. The profound sadness on her face when she returned to work will forever be etched in my memory. Before her husband’s death her everyday joy of life was so incredibly cheerful and energetic. Her smile radiated beneath a full head of blonde curls. I thought she must have been the luckiest lady in the world with the best husband, family, and marriage. Now her grief was so vast that no one could approach her; no one knew what to say as she sat alone at her workstation. Beautiful company sympathy cards came her way to ease her heart, if only to quietly read how respected and loved her husband was, and that there were people she worked with who cared even though they may not have known how to say it face to face.
The cards were a means of offering her active, conscious support. She knew she was still loved and accepted on the job even though her personal grief would have to take months and years to process.