My sister was recently given a prognosis of 2-4 months left to survive. We both work in the same hospital, lab. They had a silent auction/bake sale for her and raised alot of money. Now with the prognosis in place, and friends/co workers finding out the prognosis, how do I handle the grief of these coworkers when I am trying to handle mine?
I am so sorry to hear about your sister - this must be such a difficult time for you. I spoke to our Helpline about your question and they gave me this advice.
The grief response is directly proportional to how central the person who is dying is to your life. It is true that your co-workers will be experiencing some degree of grief, but not with the same pain and intensity you must be feeling it.
Perhaps the hardest people to deal with are those who think they understand because they are grieving. In this case it is good to remind colleagues that this is not another colleague you is grieving, this is your sister! Your loss is going to be beyond just a working relationship loss. Your losses will be multidimensional.
You will sometimes need to remind colleagues of your fragility and ask for their support and understanding, without expecting them to understand this need.
Mal & Dianne McKissock have written a wonderful book: "Coping with Grief"
We do have a couple of copies in our library which we could send out to you on loan if you would like.
We also have a resource: "Working with cancer" which is on CD. Perhaps you would like us to send her a copy to give to your colleagues.
Cancer Council NSW would like to acknowledge the traditional custodians of the land on which we live and work.We would also like to pay respect to elders past and present and extend that respect to all other Aboriginal people.