Grand Rapids:

Workplace Grief – Dealing With New Normal

The New Normal

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused astounding global harm on many levels, including economical, international relations, healthcare, and most importantly, livelihood. Despite guidelines and attempts to flatten the curve and slow the spread, the unprecedented pandemic has claimed the lives of 200,000 Americans, with no foreseeable slow down or plateau. These deaths not only affect the family member of the deceased but the fellow employees of the deceased as well. We now have to cope with workplace grief when dealing with the new normal.

Initially, only people with particular preexisting conditions such as asthma, diabetes, or otherwise compromised immune systems (cancer, autoimmune diseases, etc.) were at risk for infection. Now, COVID-19 has claimed the lives of people of all ages and levels of health. Healthy essential workers, teenagers, young adults, elderly people, and babies have all fallen victim to COVID-19. For many of these deaths, the source of the infestation is not able to be traced.

The loss is not only troubling for those close to the deceased, but also because of the trauma that accompanies facing how the deceased died. In efforts to slow the spread of COVI-19, hospitalized patients in critical and declining conditions are not allowed to have visitors. As a result, these patients have expired alone (with the exception of health care staff personnel), not surrounded by loved ones, limited final conversations with loved ones, and sometimes, those final conversations are incomprehensible due to the patient’s declining health.

This overwhelming and traumatizing loss is already responsible for the deterioration of the mental health of approximately 59% of front line health care workers. More than 147 million U.S. employees are continuing to show up for work while carrying mental health imbalances, stress, and grief. If left unaddressed, the burden can turn into mental illnesses such as PTSD.

One of the most troubling aspects of the loss is the inability to gain closure. Gerst Funeral Homes not only mourns all of the losses with you, but also provides resources to help your team through the difficult grieving process. Gerst Funeral Homes also provide pre-planning services to help prepare people for their desired wishes. While pre-planning is not an easy task, it will take tremendous stress off of surviving loved ones in making arrangements and adjusting to their new normal. Earth burial, cremation, and customized plans are all available to ensure that your loved ones will have the stress of making arrangements lifted, and that they will get the opportunity to get the closure needed to reduce mental health imbalance.

Healing that is timely, healthy, and not rushed or suppressed will gradually yield high productivity and boosted morale among employees, as well as advance unity, intimacy, and a healthy work environment. Gerst Funeral Homes stand beside you and your team as you all navigate through the new office culture. Rather than push your team to continue on working and encourage them to block out what is going on in the world, allow your team to grieve. Gerst Funeral Homes will help you make your work environment a safe space for healthy healing. If you have lost an employee, contact Gerst Funeral Homes for resources and guidance to a new normal.