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Question
Posted by: Mindful | 2004/10/25

How can I help

Hi CS,

I just passed a colleague in the passage, and once again, he chose to look the other way, rather than greet me. You see, his daughter (about my age) has a brain tumor and her doctors have given her 6 months to live (and that was 3 months ago). The day before they (his wife also works here) got this news, I was speaking to him and he told me how lucky they were to have found the tumor so soon and able to get rid of it. Since then, he always looks the other way when I pass him. I feel really bad because he probably does want to be left alone. But we pass each other down the passages at least twice a day. I guess I just feel really bad. Is there anything I can do?

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Our expert says:
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Dear Mindful,
Sad, sad, sad. I know from my years of working with people battling with problems of death and grief in the family, that often, though it helps them to know that you care, they may find it awfully difficult to face others who know of their grief, not wanting to talk about it. He may feel embarrassed for having shared with you their hopeful frame of mind before they received the ultimate bad news. Maybe you can send him a short note, saying that you have been thinking of him and his family, and while you understand if he doesn't want to talk about things, you still want to communicate that you care, and that you are available if there4 is any way in which you can be of help to the,

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