1. Any reaction is normal
There are many ways people can decide to cope with the loss of someone close to them. They can tell everyone, or they can tell no one. They could cry their eyes out, or they could be emotionally numb. The thing about humanity is that there is no universal expression for grief, and we cannot expect someone to grieve a certain way given the amount of possibilities there are. If you know someone trying to cope with loss, validate that person and let them know that what they feel is normal and they should be allowed to explore the emotion(s).
2. People tend to be understanding
In the middle of an extremely busy semester (aka midterm season), it may seem like everything is going by so slowly and so fast at the same time. You may have judged your professor already and feel hesitant to tell them because you think they will react negatively. This could even apply to a supervisor at work. However, at the end of the day, you and only you know how much time you need and if you need an extension. Most, if not all, professors and employers are, in fact, accommodating and are more than likely willing to give you time off if requested or, if you come back earlier than expected, give you extensions on projects or fewer things to take on to ease the burden of work or school.
3. Keep their memory alive
While it hurts not having someone I love physically present anymore, I think the most universal thing to feel (aside from pain) is a sense of relief, to know she is no longer feeling the pain she was. I enjoyed 22 years of memories with my grandmother and I could never forget that. I still think of the times where she would go dancing at the senior center or play the lottery, while also giving money to a homeless person on the street. It helps me remember her vibrant, youthful soul.. While she is gone, my life will continue, and when I get my degree in December, it will be in part because of how she took care of me many weekends when I was a child (she even separated a shoulder for me once because I was such a klutz) and how she always checked on me.
- Ricardo Canelo