Understanding Grief: Blog Articles on Grief, Resilience and Solution-focussed Coaching

Gräber auf dem Alten Jüdischen Friedhof München, inkl. Kindergrab (symbolisiert durch abgebrochene Stele)
Graves at the Old Jewish Cemetery Munich, incl. children's grave, symbolized by broken column, photo: Petra Meyer

How did parents grieve for their children in the past? Did you grieve at all in times of low life expectancy, high infant mortality and frequent stillbirths?

Hard to say. And yet there are examples for grieving parents since the early modern period (in German).

grüne Hinweisschilder in Botanischem Garten, zeigen verschiedene Ziele in allen vier Himmelsrichtungen
Bild: Thilina Alagiyawanna, Pexels

The number of quotes and motivational sayings about goals seems endless. My current favorite comes from Lao Tzu:

“He who has no goal can achieve none.”

Thoughts (in German) on what goals are all about, how they help in solution-focused work, and how they take a back seat in grief counseling.
2 Personen Händeschütteln, Kerze im Vordergrund
Picture: Karolina Grabowska, Pexels

When an employee grieves, managers are often the ones who (have to) manage this special situation. What should be done in this special case? And: How can the death be made less emotionally stressful for the manager?

Hand hält weißen Kopfhörer vor grauem Hintergrund, Titelbild für Podcastfolge Trauer am Arbeitsplatz
Foto von Pavel Danilyuk, Pexels
What can bereaved people expect from their employers and colleagues? And what can organizations do as employers?
Here are a few thoughts and, of course, the full podcast episode on grief and the workplace (in German).
vertrockener Blumenstrauß in Vase aus weißem Stoff
Foto von Ruts Vakulenko, pexels (20184610)
How long lasts grief? When does it get better? And when can a bereaved person return to being happy?
In this article, I share impulses and explore the question of why we ask the question in the first place. And why, in most cases, the more appropriate question is: When will it get easier?
... and how a bereaved person find things that makes carrying them easier.
In grief counseling, I sometimes use the image of grief as an unwanted backpack. I wrote this story down and had an AI create pictures for me.


Blume wächst aus einer Steinwand heraus
Bild: Nadja Donauer, Pixabay
Resilience requires strength and flexibility to adapt to change and deal with unforeseen events. Can it be learned?
In this article, I explain what resilience is and give tips for further reading — including the highly recommended book "Option B" by Sheryl Sandberg.
Find out more about resilience (in German).
Lösungsfokus: die Karte ist nicht die Landschaft. bedeutet keine Annahmen
"Die Karte ist nicht die Landschaft" bedeutet keine Annahmen
In coaching, a solution-focused mindset translates into confidence instead of preconceptions, trust in existing resources instead of a know-it-all attitude, and working towards the goal with details instead of cloudy visions.
Click here for the post series on a solution-focused mindset (in German).
Bild Gruppenumarmung Trauergruppen
Bild: fauxels, Pexels

Grief support groups are all about waving scarves and incense sticks? To be honest: you can expect more. In the article on "grief support groups (in German)" you can find out,

  • about different group concepts and how you can find a group for yourself,
  • why grief support groups work for many people, and
  • signs for quality in a support group.
Schmuckbild Berg erklimmen mit hilfe
Bild: Sasin Tipchai, Pixabay

In our society, death and mourning all too often take place behind closed doors. This is unfortunate, as grief is part of us as social beings: We build connections with people, and we grieve for them when they die (or miss them in our lives for other reasons). More in this article about "why connectedness matters when grieving (in German)":

  • Ideas on where to find your support network,
  • Thoughts on why you are allowed to accept help.
SChmuckbild Gut zuhören statt bei Trauer gut zureden
Bild: Couleur, Pixabay
What do you say when a friend or family member is grieving? How can you console them, or offer encouragement?

From my perspective, the essence is not in the talking but the listening . And also: small gestures, being able to listen, and accepting silence go a long way.

More in this article on "listening instead of talking (in German)".

Trauer am Arbeitsplatz: wenn Kollege trauert: Bild mit Rose und Kerze
Bild: Myriams-Fotos, Pixabay

A colleague suffers in loss in the family. What now?

  • ideas for a gesture as soon as you learn of a loss
  • gestures from a team
  • for managers: possible topics for discussion
  • Don'ts
  • tips for condolences

More in the article on "When a colleague is grieving".

Schmuckbild Tod Arbeitskollege
Foto: Nida, Pexels 8459212

A colleague from work has passed away and you are unsure how to deal with their death? The blog article shares

  • some thoughts on behavior and
  • some suggestions what you can do with other colleagues.


Read the article with impulses for colleagues.

Schmuckbild Todesfall im Unternehmen
Bild: Adrien Olichon, Pexels 3767172

When a team member dies, this is also a job for internal communication.

  • To have the colleague's interests at heart,
  • while not violating the deceased person's privacy,
  • and respecting the bereaved family's wishes.

Managers or HR employees who need to dislcose the death of an employee to their colleagues find some guidelines for communications in this article.

Mitarbeiter verstirbt Schmuckbild
Bild: Skylar Kang, Pexels 6044836

An employee dies. What needs to be done from the company's perspective?

This article shares prompts for action, as well as links to templates, checklists and more detailed articles. Hopefully, this is helpful for HR experts, leaders and people manager that have to deal with the death of an employee.

Read this article for tips and link for a situation when a colleague dies.

Bild Puzzleteile durcheinander - für: wenn jemand stirbt, müssen viele Hinterbliebene die eigene Lebensgeschichte neu konstruieren
Bild: congerdesign auf Pixabay

For many bereaved people, the loss of a loved one also means the loss of things taken for granted, These can be roles in their family or among friends, their belief in the world and certainties about their life. They are then faced with the task of rewriting parts of the life narrative.

Click here for the article on the reconstruction of meaning (in German).

Schmuckbild Wellen zum Blogartikel Trauer: verläuft in Wellen statt Phasen
Bild: Maria Orlova, Pexels 4913483

The so-called stages of grief are still used to explain the process of grief. Unfortunately.

Because as simple as the model seems, it doesn't explain how grief works for most people. Fortunately, there are now models that describe grief more realistically than the old phase models.

Click here for the article about grief counseling models that are beyond simplistic phase models (in German).

Bei Trauer helfen: Trauernde begleiten, so geht es trotz eigenem Gepäck
Luis Quintero, Pexels 3731256

When someone experiences a serious loss, many people around the bereaved feel helpless. Many people would like to help. In order to be effective in grief and feel more confident in conversations, it is worth taking a look at your own baggage.

This article shows how to deal with grief counseling - even if you have luggage of your own (in German) .

Todesfall im unternehmen
Picture: Frans Van Heerden, Pexels 2828584

The SCARF factors status, certainty, autonomy, relatedness and fairness describe basic emotional and social needs in our interactions.

In grief counseling, working along these factors can help stabilize a bereaved client.

Find more in the article on SCARF factors in Grief Counseling.

Trauer Raum geben, öffentliches Gedenken
Bild: Irina Anastasiu, Pexels 54512

Grief needs to be seen: It is part of being human, and giving it space is something that many people experience as healing. And yet it is largely relegated to the private sphere. Why is that?

This article describes how we give space to grief and bereaved persons.

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