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What Is Normal Grieving?

26 September 2017

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What is normal grieving? What are the stages? How can we identify it and support those in the workplace?

Grief is traditionally recognized as the multifaceted response to loss. This is particularly linked to the loss of someone or something that has died, to which we formed an emotional bond or affection.

Mental health illnesses account for an increasing number of reasons individuals take sick days or struggling to perform in the workplace. It’s important as people and business leaders to build the skills to support our colleagues. Ultimately, this will benefit the individuals concerned and the company.

Whilst the death of a friend or relative is the most commonly associated with grief, we’ve found other significant life events can also cause this response. Life changing events like divorce or miscarriage, aren’t subjects people often share or make those around them aware of. This doesn’t mean they won’t be a experiencing the grief process or behaviours.


How Can We Identify If Someone Is Grieving?

Elisabeth Kübler-Ross outlined five stage of grief in her 1969 book, On Death and Dying. Whilst her study was carried out on terminally ill patients, the model is still used as a guide for individuals suffering from loss.

The five stages are:

1.   Denial

2.   Anger

3.   Bargaining

4.   Depression

5.   Acceptance


Find out more about the Kübler-Ross model and how to deal with grief and loss. Mental health and wellbeing has been a topic at the forefront of the media through 2017 and The Guardian has written a lightweight article on 15 Ways To Support Someone Who Is Grieving along with the CIPD’s July article on Supporting Bereaved Employees.

On Thursday 12th October we will be hosting a discussing based event for HR professionals discussing Grief & Sickness In The Workplace. We’ll be joined by international bestseller St. John (Singe) Greene author of Mum’s List. Having experienced sickness and bereavement we asked Singe,

You have been through so much…where did you find the strength to carry on?”


“I guess to start with it was from the support of family and friends ….. We all need to remember that just because one door closes, others will often open in front of you. You just have to have the bravery to see what is on the other side and if you don’t like what you see, move on and open another door.”


To read more of our interview with Singe – The Taboo Subject Of Grief & Sickness. Or join us on Thursday 12th October at Hotel du Vin from 8.30am to discuss Grief & Sickness In The Workplace. We’ll be joined by  Nicola Rich (Associate HR & Wellbeing Manager) and International Best-Selling Author of Mum’s List, St. John (Singe) Greene.


To Book Your Free Place Email Gina Childs -

What Is Normal Grieving?


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