Victoria Noe

Award-winning Author, Speaker, Activist



workplace grief

Words to Live By from Steve Jobs

Words to Live By from Steve Jobs
Oct 06, 2011 by Victoria Noe
Steve Jobs, the Apple visionary who changed the world, lost his battle to pancreatic cancer on Wednesday.Although Jobs was known as not always the nicest person to work with, his impact on our lives cannot be overstated.By now, you may have seen the video of his 2005 commencement speech at Stanford University. He’d been diagnosed the year before, and had successful surgery. He was in remission. But a near-death experience had an effect, even on this impossibly driven CEO.“No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don’t want to die to get there. And yet death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be,...

Making Sense of Surviving Your Friends

Making Sense of Surviving Your Friends
Sep 30, 2011 by Victoria Noe
In keeping with what turned out to be a week of considering anger’s role in grief, I thought I’d turn to one of the triggers for anger: survivor guilt.The research for my book has provided a glimpse into some typically closed societies, among them military and firefighters. Both are groups charged with keeping us safe, both are groups whose jobs are so dangerous they know every day is potentially their last.The people they work with - men and women - are a tight-knit group. They consider themselves a family; Band of Brothers was not an accidental title. Because of the nature of their close living conditions, and the hazards of their work, they must have complete trust in each other....

The Arts and 9/11: "The Guys"

The Arts and 9/11: "The Guys"
Sep 09, 2011 by Victoria Noe
 From the original production Last night I attended a performance of Anne Nelson’s beautiful play, The Guys, starring Sigourney Weaver and Tom Wopat, benefitting the FDNY Foundation.A deceptively simple premise based on the playwright’s personal experience, The Guys tells of a meeting between Joan, an editor, and Nick, an FDNY fire captain. Nick lost 8 men on 9/11, and a week later, needs help writing eulogies for the first four services.The language is real and funny and gut-wrenching, sometimes all at once. Joan gradually draws out stories of each man, as Nick struggles with his grief for his guys, and survivor guilt (he switched shifts with his best friend).He rails against the hero status each has acquired, arguing that...

Labor Day Thoughts on Workplace Grief

Sep 03, 2011 by Victoria Noe
People work in offices and construction sites, museums and restaurants. Rarely do they work completely alone. They have co-workersI remember my Dad’s funeral. He was a deputy sheriff, and some of the other deputies escorted the funeral procession to the cemetery: riding ahead to block intersections, later standing in formation, adding an air of importance that my Dad would’ve loved. It was how they honored them.It’s hard to grieve when a co-worker has died. The reminders of the loss are there, in front of you sometimes, all day long. They are replaced, because someone has to do their job. You may feel resentful and angry, perhaps even because their death left you with a whole lot more work to do.We often spend...