How often does it happen? An employee has returned to work after experiencing the death of a spouse.  At first, she gets hugs and people tell her they are sorry for her loss. But after a few days, you notice that co-workers talk about everything and everyone except the person who died, even when it would be natural to include something about him in the conversation. They all tiptoe around it and avoid even mentioning his name. Why is everyone so afraid?  

The truth is, they are well-meaning but uninformed. Most are afraid that if they say his name, they will make her sad or spoil her day.  They think it is their job to cheer their co-worker up or take her mind off the reality.  

They don't realize it is not their job to "fix it." They can't take her grief away anyway. The loss is always on her mind, no matter how hard others try to avoid bringing it up. Nor do they realize how much she longs to hear his name, how badly she wants to know that someone besides herself remembers, or how hungry she is to share stories and memories.   

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