Yesterday morning at work, a co-worker grabbed my shoulder and told me we had a team meeting downstairs. I thought, “we do?” and followed. In the hallway outside my office, a few people were hugging and crying. I wondered if we were going to get laid off. I am new to the job so I didn’t know anyone well enough to ask what was going on.
When we arrived in the downstairs office, we were informed that one of our teammates had unexpectedly died the night before. She was only 52 years old. The night before, she had carefully stacked her work in files on her desk, and straightened everything to look tidy for the next day.
In predictable, hopelessly cliche, completely uncreative coworker-mourner fashion, we in the office are giving the co-worker’s family a tree to plant in her honor.
Still, what else can you do?