Nasty Conversation at Work

I lost my dad about nine months ago.
Most of the people I work with know about it as I asked my friend to let them know.
I was working with a couple of people last week. Two of the girls started talking about cremation and what happens when you die. I don’t just mean just mentioning it. I mean talking about it in explicit detail.
One of them knew about my dad. It felt like she was trying to impress the new girl by being graphic. I had to tell them TWICE to change the subject as my dad was cremated last year.
How can people be so insensitive!?
It’s been playing on my mind since last week.
They did stop talking about it. It made me feel angry. They then cut me out of the conversation completely.
The new girl went back to her department. I carried on working. I am still angry about it. I think my boss overhead but didn’t say anything.
I am civil to the two girls but I think they are two immature, brain dead idiots!!! I didn’t even get an apology.
I’m still very angry and hurt.
Has anyone else on here been in a similar situation?
R x

I haven’t Rochelle, some people can be so insensitive and callous.

I think people just forget. To them, our bereavements are in the past, they don’t realise that our grief is still raw. They see us carrying on and think that we’ve “got over it” and that they don’t need to be careful what they say around us any more. Which couldn’t be further from the truth.

I work in a big multi benefit DWP centre and am quite near the Bereavement teams - I used to work in Bereavement before I lost Clive when they moved me out into another benefit. You really hear some terrible stories from people who are calling to report a death, some of them very graphic and upsetting. Sometimes the only way to cope with what you’ve been told is to make a joke about it - we used to run a “Gruesome Death of the Week” competition - you have to shut down a bit or you’d never make it through the week.

I can still hear the Bereavement teams chatter from where I sit. Initially, they moderated what they said in case I overheard and got upset. Now, two and a half years on, no-one stops to consider that I’m still grieving and some of the things I hear them talking about send me running to the Ladies to cry.

I don’t blame them, time has moved on for them, but not for me. They don’t do it on purpose, they just don’t think.


Ah…I remember when my mum died (from sepsis) and a couple of weeks later someone was walking around the office bare foot, someone else commented “don’t walk around bare foot, you’ll catch sepsis” absolute killed me inside, I was raging like if only she knew the seriousness of sepsis or how hard it is to watch someone die from it…

Sadly as someone else has mentioned below, they see you acting normal, smiling, chatting etc and assume that you are “over” it, we on this forum truly know you never get over it. I don’t think they did it on purpose to upset you, i guess some people just don’t see why they should tred on eggshells around others. Well done for telling them to change the subject though, I bet many others wouldn’t of done the same.

People are just, well, the way that they are. Acceptance is talked about when it comes to grief, it’s something that we all hopefully reach at some point in the coming months and years and it’s a tough road to get there. I think ultimately what we all want is peace in our lives and to be able to enjoy life properly again. Now when it comes to others saying hurtful things without thinking, this is another type of acceptance we have to get to. So we have a double challenge. It’s impossible to change the way others behave, especially those who have yet to experience what grief has to offer so we have to somehow accept this is the way the rest of the world works and accept that most of the rest of the world doesn’t really care about our feelings.
I don’t walk around dripping with sorrow all day long and just about everyone I meet would never know what’s going on in my life. The exterior may be smiley, jolly and present itself as a normal everyday person but of course that doesn’t mean underneath is perfect and jolly as well. This is unfortunately how the majority of people will view the situation, we appear fantastic and back to our old selves but of course we here all know the reality.
We have to accept that some people are just dumb and don’t know when to keep their mouths shut. I’m sorry that you’ve had to endure such a horrible experience Rochelle.


Hi Rochelle (and everyone), Your post struck a chord. I lost my beloved, best friend & soul mate younger Sister to cancer, a bit over a year on. I witnessed her sudden & traumatic death, and suffer PTSD as a result. I went back to work too soon, thinking the distraction might help. I have a tactless & insensitive boss who delights in telling me who among present & past colleagues have died or are ill. Recently she went into graphic detail about a staff member on another floor, who was suffering from pancreatic cancer. Then she asked me “Have you seen her, you should go look at her, it is awful.” She also goes to all funerals, even for those she was barely acquainted with, Then first thing in the morning, she makes a point of telling me all about “how beautiful” these events were (as if she were talking about a party). I put so much effort into keeping it together at work, but being around her makes it so much harder, I am often in tears after one of her morbid conversations.
I might add, I have a " friend" who told me he just “loves reading obituaries.” This was only months after I lost my sister. He went on to say “they are so interesting, don’t you think?” I was speechless.
Why do they do it? I am not so sure they do not know how hurtful they are being. My facial expression and body language in reaction to their stinging words, cannot be missed. Makes one want to want to wear a suit of armor, just to get through the day alive. Wish they could think before they speak (therein lies the problem, they are not capable of thinking!). Words can heal or they can wound, thus must be carefully weighed. Thanks for listening. Xxx Sister2

Thanks for all your replies.
I think the girls at work don’t understand because they still have their parents. I went back to work because I could not afford to take loads of time off, or use up all my holiday.
I feel like I am on an emotional roller coaster. Some days are ok. Others, well I just want to scream " leave me alone."
People really don’t understand what grief is about unless they’ve been through it. You’re supposed to be " over it" once you have had the funeral. It takes a long time to accept what’s happened.
Generally, I love my job and I have some good friends there. One lady lost her mum around the time of her birthday. She didn’t celebrate her birthday that year. That was a few years ago now. I like working with her because she understands what I’m going through.
I seem to have become more outspoken since I lost mum and dad. Not sure if it’s a good thing or not.

Thanks again for the replies. They mean a lot x

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Hi Rochelle.

You’re absolutely right. No one can understand the pain of grief until they go through it. In a weird way, I’m almost glad that the Bereavement guys don’t understand what I’m going through - I wouldn’t wish this pain on anyone and it’s nice that they’re still so carefree and blase about death. It doesn’t stop it affecting me though.

We lost my Mum in June last year and I can remember my father saying to me that he was sorry he hadn’t understood what I was going through, he said he’d thought that I was being a bit over the top when I lost Clive (and I did fall completely apart) although, of course, he never said so and was wonderfully supportive, but now he knew what it felt like. I wished more than anything that he didn’t know.