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syz's avatar

How do I help my employee, whose brother committed suicide today?

Asked by syz (35649points) August 31st, 2007

I’m her manager – she’s barely 20 and I don’t know her that well, but I feel horribly at a loss and don’t know what to do. I’ve never been comfortable with social and emotional issues when I don’t have a close connection to someone. I feel helpless.

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5 Answers

Hawaiiguy's avatar

that happened to one of my employees last year, her mother shot herself. All I could do was let her know I was there for her and (owning a restaurant) I had my chefs make food for her and her family. I also referred her
to a friend of mine ( a social worker) to talk to. I had her take time some time off with pay and me and my employees made sure we were there for her emotionally. That’s about all we could do its a tough thing and people appreciate a shoulder to lean on.

Jill_E's avatar

It is hard. My former fiance’s dad commited suicide. It really affects the family and people who knew him. People were really shocked.

Looking back, listening or just being there is key. The family was touched by people listening, supporting, and making comfort food.

My dad is so wise..after the traumatic event…without my asking, he said to me some people can’t find true peace on earth, struggling so much, now perhaps find peace in heaven.

Here are some other suggestions from an earlier question…

gailcalled's avatar

My father shot himself 27 years ago. There is nothing that anyone can do to take away the shock and rage that the survivors feel, no matter what the individual circumstances.. The one thing not to do is disappear out of embarrassment or helplessness. The first week usually passes in a frenzy of funeral preparation, the arrival of family and friends, mourning rituals and details; meals, visitors, flowers, notes, etc; then everyone goes home and you start thinking and feeling during the quiet.

That is the time to step in, and ask what you can do. Don’t say, “Call or let me know what I can do.” Instead, ask, “How can I help?”

My sibs and I talked about our father’s choice almost daily for years…the ripple effect of such an act never stops. I would rather die at the hands of the Spanish Inquisition or be drawn and quartered rather than inflict my suicide on my family.

zolmie's avatar

I agree. My close friend took his life last year. I know this is an old question, but I think I must have surpressed it for a while and when I started really grieving his loss people didn’t understand why I had not moved on. Consequently, I grieve it in silence. The only thing I have found really helpful is to talk about it with someone who doesnt say a word. Just listen and let her say whatever she wants. Don’t judge her or think she’s crazy. Suicide is the most painful thing I have ever dealt with. If you read this make sure you ask her how she’s doing and if she ever wants to talk you will find time to listen. My friends and family were uncomfortable talking about this or just listening to me. An person I barely knew actually turned out to be the best support I’ve had during this. I thank God for that almost everyday.

zolmie's avatar

On Listening
by Ralph Roughton

When I ask you to listen to me
and you start by giving advice,
you have not done what I asked.
When I ask you to listen to me
and you begin to tell me why I shouldn’t feel that way,
you are trampling on my feelings.
When I ask you to listen to me
and you feel you have to do something to solve my problem,
you have failed me, strange as it may seem.
When you do something for me that I can and need to do for myself,
you contribute to my fear and inadequacy.
And I can do for myself. I’m not helpless.
Maybe discouraged and faltering, but not helpless.
But when you accept as simple fact that I do feel what I feel,
no matter how irrational,
then I can quit trying to convince you and
get about the business of understanding this irrational feeling.
And when that’s clear, the answers are obvious
and I don’t need advice.
Irrational feelings make sense
when we understand what’s behind them.
Perhaps, that’s why prayer works, sometimes, for some people…
because God is mute, and
He or She doesn’t give advice or try to fix things.
God just listens and lets you work it out yourself.
So, please listen and just hear me.
And, if you want to talk,
wait a minute for your turn,
and I’ll listen to you.

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