Dealing with Grief at Work: Relief from Grief Quiz

Grieving the loss of a family member or relationship is painful--and powerful. Memories and moods take over, including at work. Use this quiz to learn how to manage your reactions better. Put an X next to one response per question.

1. Professional women need to keep their private feelings of grief out of the workplace.

__Strongly agree __Agree __Neutral __Somewhat disagree __Disagree

2. Crying at work is especially unprofessional for women.

__Strongly agree __Agree __Neutral __Somewhat disagree __Disagree

3. Talking about feelings is always helpful, but don’t tell co-workers much.

__Strongly agree __Agree __Neutral __Somewhat disagree __Disagree

4. Keep that photo of your loved one handy.

__Strongly agree __Agree __Neutral __Somewhat disagree __Disagree

5. Some daydreaming and difficulty concentrating are signs of trouble.

__Strongly agree __Agree __Neutral __Somewhat disagree __Disagree

Explanation of Answers:

1. Keeping feelings out of work is impossible. Sadness and irritability are normal reactions. When feelings are strong, take a grief break—breathe, go the restroom and give yourself a few minutes to let the feelings play out. One point for Somewhat disagree and two for Disagree.

2. Plan 1 to 3 minute crying breaks in the bathroom a few times a day. Crying rids your body of bio-chemical grief toxins and makes you feel more comfortable and in charge. One point for Somewhat disagree and two for Disagree.

3. Talking about feelings is helpful—but not necessarily colleagues. Too much private information to co-workers can later be used against you. Talk first to non-work friends, family members, clergy or a therapist if the days get difficult. You don’t owe co-workers your life story. Two points Strongly agree and one point Agree.

4. Glancing at that photo 1 or 2 times a day can bring on those tears you have to shed. If the photo is a reminder of a good relationship, it can be an inspiration. If it’s a reminder of bad relationship, perhaps much later it can serve as a reminder of what you learned and triumphed over. Two points Strongly agree and one Agree.

5. Grief usually impairs concentration. Plan short work-focused efforts and then take a few minutes break. If the distractions increase or last longer, seek professional help. One point Disagree and two points Somewhat disagree.

Scoring: 8-10 points: You know how to be proactive.

5-7 points: Add a few more grief management techniques.

4-0 points: Be willing to re-think your ideas about grief.

This article first appeared in, the premier community for professional women. Check out their website to read more of my articles that help women with career, work, family and relationships.

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Author's Bio: 

LeslieBeth Wish is a Psychologist, Clinical Social Worker and author who is nationally recognized for her contributions to women, love, relationships, family, career, workplace, and organizations.

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