Watch: Brenda Edwards returns to Loose Women for the first time since the tragic death of her son Jamal Edwards
Brenda Edwards will make her return to Loose Women this week for the first time since the tragic death of her son Jamal Edwards.
The music mogul, who founded SB.TV, was 31 when he died suddenly in February this year.
TV panelist Edwards, 53, has taken time away from Loose Women to grieve the loss of her son, but is set to return this week, with the show airing a sit-down interview with the star on Monday.
Good Morning Britain's Richard Arnold announced the singer and presenter's return on Monday's show.
"Today's edition of Loose Women will air a special interview with Brenda Edwards, who has been away from the show since the tragic death of her son Jamal," he told viewers.
"Brenda has been taking time away from television to be with her family.
"This chat marks the first time Brenda has spoken on TV about the loss of her son."
— Loose Women (@loosewomen) April 25, 2022
GMB aired a preview clip from Edwards' interview with the panellist seen sitting down with fellow host Coleen Nolan as she thanked her work colleagues for their support "at the end of the phone" and in person.
She went on to reveal how she felt she "needed" to come back to the panel.
"It has been great having the ladies there and that is something which has been a big part of my life, and the kids' life so I need to return," she explained.
"It's not even want to, I need to return."
She added: "I've missed everyone but I thank you for supporting me, and being there at the end of the phone with me."
Read more: Grief: Coping with reminders after a loss
Watch: People remember SBTV founder Jamal Edwards with a vigil
News of Edwards' return to work comes after she launched a trust to honour her son, called the Jamal Edwards Self Belief Trust.
As she announced the news on Instagram Edwards explained how her son's passing has had a "huge impact" on her and her family.
She added: "To honour his memory and continue his legacy, The Jamal Edwards Self Belief Trust has been set up with an objective to support those causes that mattered most to Jamal."
Returning to work after loss
Deciding when might be the right time to return to work after a loss can be a difficult decision to make and is often dependent on how the bereaved person is dealing with their grief.
For some, returning to work could be a chance to focus on something other than the loss, while for others it could contribute to feelings of overwhelm.
Dr Audrey Tang, psychologist, wellbeing expert and author of The Leader’s Guide to Resilience, explains that people process grief in different ways which of course impacts when might be the right time to return to work after a bereavement.
"Some people may prefer to grieve alone, others may need to channel their focus and others may wish to talk about it," she explains.
"As long as the person is able to process what they are going through and are not harming themselves or others, then their choices need to be respected, even if they do not match our perceptions."
When making a decision about going back to work after a bereavement Dr Tang believes the most important thing to understand is that experiences like this change you.
"They are not about 'moving forward from' or 'getting over'," she explains. "They add another layer into your universe, and you grow again around that."
But there are some steps you can take to help the back-to-work process after suffering the loss of a loved one.
Have a 'return to work' meeting
Dr Tang suggests you set up a meeting to explain to your managers that you would like to return, however agree with them a basis where you feel this would be most conducive to both you and them.
Prepare for difficult moments
"Grief comes and goes, there will be some days where you can think you’re absolutely fine, and then suddenly it can hit you and your emotions become overwhelming," Dr Tang explains.
Therefore, she says, it may help to know:
- Who you can call to inform should this need to happen.
- Whether you can arrange cover for such occasions – some workplaces will have a procedure for emergencies.
Check in with your emotions
Following your return to work Dr Tang advises you try to monitor your own feelings, and work with your team to be flexible with gradually returning to a fuller timetable.
"It can also help to have a conversation with your team or your managers and say that people can ask you about your loss – or conversely, if you’d prefer they didn’t then perhaps say that as well," she adds.
Be kind to yourself
According to Dr Tang, it is important to give ourselves permission to negotiate an environment that will help us best, because if we feel emotionally and psychologically safe, we will also perform better ourselves.
“The difficulty is that there seems to be a taboo around loss, and we don’t like to talk about it... perhaps because we don’t want to upset people, but the more open we can be – within what we feel able to cope with – the easier it becomes to work supportively,” she explains.
Dr Tang says it is important not let others, including colleagues, tell you how you should feel or how you need to behave and process your emotions.
Don’t struggle alone
If you’re finding it too difficult to cope when back at work, talk to your boss or HR department and enquire about being referred for bereavement counselling through your work, GP or privately.