Project Management

Project Management Central

Please login or join to subscribe to this thread

Topics: Change Management, Leadership
What if you are heartbroken?
In the last few weeks, a family member passed away and a friend's 8 year old daughter tragically died. I've continued to work and do my job, but my heart is broken. I don't think it has been obvious to anyone at work - the projects are on track and I've been able to talk about these deaths with special people in my life. I also have a very strong spiritual beliefs, but I am still so very sad especially for the family who lost their only child. Have you ever been heartbroken while doing your job? How do you cope?
Sort By:
Page: 1 2 3 4 <prev
Very sorry to hear about your losses Lori. We often hear how people distinguish between their family, social and work lives. That should not be the case. You have shown here that we can use this platform to express, share & care for one another. And remind ourselves "don't bury it" quoting Vincent, but to let it out. For that thank you & be Blessed!
...
1 reply by LORI WILSON
Jan 10, 2020 12:08 PM
LORI WILSON
...
Elok - thank you!
Jan 09, 2020 3:10 PM
Replying to Randi Krueger
...
Lori - I definitely feel for you. My deepest condolences.

I had approximately 1 full year of upheaval. I worked at the same company as my mother. We lost her shortly after I started my job at HPE (4 months into the job). I was 27 at the time and had returned home to take care of my mother in her final days. I remember my father waking me up to inform me of her passing. I went downstairs and realized I had the unfortunate duty of informing everyone (directors, managers, etc) at our mutual place of employment of her passing. I went to work that day feeling very hollow, but feeling like I needed to work to avoid my sadness. I also happened to be knee deep in studying for my PMP. I passed the exam only 3 months after her passing and was 3.5 months pregnant at the time of her passing. The saddest part was not having her around anymore as a confidante (I used to speak with her for hours because we lived two states apart and we were exceptionally close). I am not as close to anyone (spouse included) as I was to her. It was also devastating that she would never meet her first grandchild either. She really was looking forward to that. Around November, my Dad started dating a new woman. I was happy for him, but also feeling very depressed because it solidified that she was gone. I had my son 6 months after her passing and suffered through postpartum depression for the next year. My Dad also sold my childhood home, moved in with his girlfriend (who is now his wife), and proposed to her a little over a year after my Mom's passing. I also almost lost my dog due to kidney failure right before my son was born. My marriage almost fell apart too because my spouse became very distant. He is not necessarily close to his family like I am with mine, so he was unsure how to handle such a loss. He was also had a pretty great relationship with my mother and it probably hurt him too. As a result, he retreated from me. We sought couples counseling and the counselor essentially made me feel like our marriage falling apart was entirely on me. Suffice it to say, we stopped attending. It felt like the world was taking a giant dump on me. The only comfort I had was that I was performing admirably at work... at the expense of my mental health.

Everyone at work knew what had happened and they all begged me to take time off. In retrospect, I should have taken some time and sought out some counseling very early. You feel numb in the beginning, but grief steamrolls over you after a month or two. I believe my postpartum depression was significantly tied to this.

Everyone responds differently to tragedy and death. What works for me won't necessarily work for you. Something that does work is taking stock of all the wonderful things (and people) in your life. You get a newfound appreciation for life once someone close to you passes and you stop wasting your time on unimportant things. My Mom's passing was the impetus for me to make healthy changes (after I eventually got help).

Good luck to you. Remember, grief comes in waves and doesn't necessarily dissipate over time.

Present day: My marriage is stronger, I have two beautiful children, and my dog who suffered the kidney failure is still with us. I'm not sure how I made it through that very dark period, but surrounding yourself with loved ones and "disposing of all the noise" really played a role in my being here today.
I can't imagine how difficult it must have been for you Randi, to go through all that you mentioned. Very sorry for your losses. You too have reminded me how important it is - there is more to work life on this platform. And in our work, to check on our colleagues.
Jan 09, 2020 4:24 PM
Replying to Stephen Beam
...
I am so very sorry for the losses shared by everyone on this post and I thank Lori for raising such an important topic.

It is refreshing to see a discussion on how our personal lives spill over into our professions. At times in my career I have felt some employers have preferred to keep the two separate but the reality is that every component of our life is intertwined.

This past October I lost my 13 month old son in his sleep. No health problems and the autopsy has shown no cause of death. For me coping has involved:

- Returning to familiar routines, places and people in small but increasing measures as quickly as possible (the "new normal").

- Joining a small men's group for support and encouragement

- Reading books and blogs about others who have experienced similar tragedies and understanding how they deal with the pain

- Crying about it: alone, with my wife, with close friends who understand

- Acknowledging the pain and senselessness of it all, and allowing myself whatever time is needed to heal. I am grateful for an employer who allowed unquestioned time to grieve with my family.

Personally, I can now empathize deeply with others who share the same experience. Professionally, it has further changed my perspective on what is truly important and the value of appropriate priorities in life. Project delays and scope changes seem much less stressful now.

Again, a welcome and meaningful post. Thank you.
Truly sorry for the loss of your son Stephen. And thank you for sharing, and for how you have coped. Your sharing added to the meaning of this thread.
Sorry for what happened.
Life is like that. This is what it is.
I do support Kiron's idea.
Dear Lori,

Life and adversity meet us everyday and challenges us as individuals, communities organisations and countries. You have taken the first step by reaching out to this community, sharing your experience and looking for support. On that I commend you and urge you not to lose that spark, enthusiasm that you have for your job. Sometimes it is that we do not know how to grieve a loss that is the issue and instead we go into auto pilot state and shock and sadness grip us. Give yourself time to grieve but at the same time know when it time to move on and focus on your own life and happiness as any loved one would want you to do. Most importantly ask and seek support from those around you as they know you best and only want the best for you. Best wishes

Daire
Jan 10, 2020 12:17 AM
Replying to Elok Robert Tee
...
Very sorry to hear about your losses Lori. We often hear how people distinguish between their family, social and work lives. That should not be the case. You have shown here that we can use this platform to express, share & care for one another. And remind ourselves "don't bury it" quoting Vincent, but to let it out. For that thank you & be Blessed!
Elok - thank you!
Hi Lori,

Thank you for your “heartbroken” post, and I’m truly sorry for your losses. I can also relate as my family has struggled with grief over the loss of our 3.5-year-old grandson, who died from a rare mitochondrial disorder. Even though the intensity of the grief has lessened over the years, we are still in touch with it. I had experienced grief many times before in my life, but when it is one of the “little ones,” it takes on a completely different dimension.

Here are some personal thoughts on grief, based on my experience:

- Grief affects everyone differently, and there is no resolution to it, nor should there be. It’s not something that you can “just simply get over,” it’s a process that serves a purpose to our wellbeing when properly managed. To cope with grief, you need to accept it as your companion, a friend who is visiting, possibly for an extended time. Through this acceptance, the visit can be fruitful, and after a time, your friend may move on and then come back to visit on special occasions. However, if you do not accept your companion, the visit may overwhelm you, and you may retreat to places where you feel you can escape. Unfortunately, this isolation normally takes you into further dimensions of pain, so acceptance is key.

There’s a faith-based support program called “Grief Share,” which is a program for anyone experiencing grief in their life. You don’t need to be of faith to be part of the program; it is for anyone. Thank you, Lori, for opening up a discussion on this topic.

George
...
2 replies by LORI WILSON and Rami Kaibni
Jan 10, 2020 5:38 PM
LORI WILSON
...
Oh George, I am so, so very sorry for sharing your story about your grandson. Especially when it is little ones, the grief can be so overwhelming. Thank you for being brave enough to share your very personal and painful story. What you shared in your response is so beautifully explained too. I've found the grief washing over me at such unexpected times. I'm trying to be 100% present at my job, and then sometimes the grief just takes over! I will look at my grief going forward as my new companion. Thank you for your meaningful words. Again, I am sorry for your loss and will keep you and your family in my prayers.
Jan 10, 2020 5:49 PM
Rami Kaibni
...
Sorry for your loss George. It is always hard to lose the loved ones !
Jan 10, 2020 5:16 PM
Replying to George Freeman
...
Hi Lori,

Thank you for your “heartbroken” post, and I’m truly sorry for your losses. I can also relate as my family has struggled with grief over the loss of our 3.5-year-old grandson, who died from a rare mitochondrial disorder. Even though the intensity of the grief has lessened over the years, we are still in touch with it. I had experienced grief many times before in my life, but when it is one of the “little ones,” it takes on a completely different dimension.

Here are some personal thoughts on grief, based on my experience:

- Grief affects everyone differently, and there is no resolution to it, nor should there be. It’s not something that you can “just simply get over,” it’s a process that serves a purpose to our wellbeing when properly managed. To cope with grief, you need to accept it as your companion, a friend who is visiting, possibly for an extended time. Through this acceptance, the visit can be fruitful, and after a time, your friend may move on and then come back to visit on special occasions. However, if you do not accept your companion, the visit may overwhelm you, and you may retreat to places where you feel you can escape. Unfortunately, this isolation normally takes you into further dimensions of pain, so acceptance is key.

There’s a faith-based support program called “Grief Share,” which is a program for anyone experiencing grief in their life. You don’t need to be of faith to be part of the program; it is for anyone. Thank you, Lori, for opening up a discussion on this topic.

George
Oh George, I am so, so very sorry for sharing your story about your grandson. Especially when it is little ones, the grief can be so overwhelming. Thank you for being brave enough to share your very personal and painful story. What you shared in your response is so beautifully explained too. I've found the grief washing over me at such unexpected times. I'm trying to be 100% present at my job, and then sometimes the grief just takes over! I will look at my grief going forward as my new companion. Thank you for your meaningful words. Again, I am sorry for your loss and will keep you and your family in my prayers.
Jan 10, 2020 5:16 PM
Replying to George Freeman
...
Hi Lori,

Thank you for your “heartbroken” post, and I’m truly sorry for your losses. I can also relate as my family has struggled with grief over the loss of our 3.5-year-old grandson, who died from a rare mitochondrial disorder. Even though the intensity of the grief has lessened over the years, we are still in touch with it. I had experienced grief many times before in my life, but when it is one of the “little ones,” it takes on a completely different dimension.

Here are some personal thoughts on grief, based on my experience:

- Grief affects everyone differently, and there is no resolution to it, nor should there be. It’s not something that you can “just simply get over,” it’s a process that serves a purpose to our wellbeing when properly managed. To cope with grief, you need to accept it as your companion, a friend who is visiting, possibly for an extended time. Through this acceptance, the visit can be fruitful, and after a time, your friend may move on and then come back to visit on special occasions. However, if you do not accept your companion, the visit may overwhelm you, and you may retreat to places where you feel you can escape. Unfortunately, this isolation normally takes you into further dimensions of pain, so acceptance is key.

There’s a faith-based support program called “Grief Share,” which is a program for anyone experiencing grief in their life. You don’t need to be of faith to be part of the program; it is for anyone. Thank you, Lori, for opening up a discussion on this topic.

George
Sorry for your loss George. It is always hard to lose the loved ones !
Page: 1 2 3 4 <prev  

Please login or join to reply

Content ID:
ADVERTISEMENTS

"Bad artists always admire each other's work."

- Oscar Wilde

ADVERTISEMENT

Sponsors