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How should I/should I at all approach this situation?


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Backstory: I lost my Mom unexpectedly in early March of 2015. I started my current job in January of 2016 and told no one there what happened. Only four of us work in the office; usually only two at a time. Didn't seem like a topic I could casually bring up nor want to. Still haven't told anyone either. Hence what I think is a dilemma.


Present: On Tuesday, I learn that my coworker lost her Mom. As far as I know, it was unexpected. Even though I never knew her Mom, it still hit me pretty hard. My coworker's really amazing, but I know how heavy grief can turn you into a completely different person and upend the world.




1) Is there a tactful way I can approach her and let her know that I actually do know what she's going through? Again, no one knows what happened to Mom. If so, when? Definitely not anytime soon. How? Just let her know that if she wants to talk, she can.


2) She might return to work in a couple days (even tomorrow), so how should I act around her? Of course I should stay away from mentioning the obvious, but what else?


But maybe me asking all these questions means I shouldn't approach her at all. You think I'd know how to behave around a bereaved person, but I isolated myself for the first couple weeks. Stayed with my extended family for a time, but otherwise kept my mouth shut.


I appreciate the help, everyone.

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Whatever you do, don't ignore her. I had a couple of friends do that when my dad passed away...I guess they didn't know what to do or say but it really hurt my feelings that they didn't even acknowledge.


Maybe write her a card, telling her that you lost your mom as well and if she'd like to talk you're there.

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Sorry that happened to you @surfdiva.


I had a female friend who did that to me. Even when I tried to reconnect a year later, she said very little, was uncomfortable, and hung up after a few minutes. Honestly don't think I'll ever forgive her.


Thanks for the advice, too.

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