Grief at Work

margo fowkes book

If you’ve ever wondered how to support an employee who has lost a loved one, Margo Fowkes has you covered.

Fowkes’ book “Leading Through Loss” (Find Your Harbor Press, 2022) provides a road map for leaders on what to do when a grieving employee returns to work. “I wanted it to be practical and user-friendly,” says Fowkes, who spoke with executives and managers—locally, nationally and internationally—to gain perspective. “Leaders often believe that they should know what to do and how to make it better for a bereaved employee who’s coming back to work. Instead, they need to allow themselves to be guided by what their employee says they need, because everyone’s grief is different.”

The book also addresses how to handle grief while teleworking and what to do if you are the one who is grieving. Appendixes offer resources, a sample bereavement policy and what a workplace grief support group might look like.

Woven into the book are stories of people who returned to work after experiencing a loss. Some experiences were positive, others not so much, which spurred Fowkes, who regularly interacts with people in the workforce through her consulting business, OnTarget Consulting, to write the book. “What I kept hearing was, ‘I went back to work and the silence was deafening,’” she says.

Fowkes has had personal experience with grief. Her son, Jimmy, died of cancer in 2014. In 2016, she started Salt Water (, an online community for those dealing with grief and loss. “So much of it is simply saying, ‘I am so sorry this has happened to you,’” she says. “The hard part is that you are talking to someone whose life has shattered.”

Find “Leading Through Loss” on Amazon, and at Barnes & Noble.