A woman I know through work recently suffered the loss of a family member. She sent an email out notifying various contacts that she would be taking some time to be with her family. I set flowers and respected her wishes to have time to grieve.
Some folks, however, didn’t seem to get the message. My friend mentioned to me that a few colleagues and friends continued to send emails and texts regarding matters that easily could have waited. For example, one old friend sent daily reminders about plans for an upcoming trip they had booked–for next year. My friend said the trip was the last thing she wanted to think about, but her traveling partner constantly sent updates asking her to make decisions about which restaurants to book and flight times.
Some people like to keep busy while grieving, but most people need some time. When someone expressly tells you that they are taking time off, respect their wishes and don’t pester them with issues that aren’t important or time-sensitive, or can be handled by yourself and others.