[illustration] a person holding a candle and shedding a tear, surrounded by workplace items

Doctors’ Orders: It’s OK to Be Sad

By Erica Jenkins

“Loss can be any experience that demands the surrender of something that is personally significant or familiar,” explained Laura Wheat, a clinical assistant professor in UT Knoxville’s College of Education, Health and Human Sciences. And grief is how we express and acknowledge our loss.

The personal nature of grief also makes it a difficult topic for many to address in the workplace, said Laura Miller, a health communication researcher in UT Knoxville’s School of Communication Studies.

“There’s something about the workplace setting that seems to confuse people about how to deal with grief,” Miller said. “It confuses grievers too, because they’re not sure if they are allowed to have their human experience out in public in the workplace.”

This is Part 2 of 4 from our first series of stories about grief and loss. Read parts 1, 3, and 4.

Erica Jenkins HeadshotErica Jenkins  Contact
UT System Administration

Erica joined the UT System Office of Communications and Marketing in 2011 and currently serves as public relations associate, specializing in measurement and analytics and managing communication planning for government relations and advocacy initiatives. When she’s not involved in community and campus organizations, Erica enjoys deep sea fishing with her family and working on music. 

Posts represent the views, expertise and recommendations of their authors and do not necessarily reflect an endorsement by the University of Tennessee. Furthermore, the content of the blog is for informational purposes only. The content of the blog is not, and is not intended to be used as, a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.