So, I work in a small company, we mostly do temporary projects for a very big company with many departments.
In one of the departments, an employee died unexpectedly some weeks ago. I did not know the deceased, and only know his colleague from 2-3 technical problem related mails nearly a year ago.
Now I have a meeting with the colleague next week, the topic is about the work of his deceased colleague and how I could finish it. I don't know how the relation between him and his deceased colleague was, but they seemed to work together for a long time.
In this situation, is it common to console the colleague or behave neutral and try to keep the conversation on technical level, or should I not mention the deceased member at all? I am not sure how I should behave at that meeting, primarily it is about the projects the deceased member was working on and how to finish them, but it is difficult to avoid the topic of unexpected death.
Can somebody give me an advise how I should handle this situation? I live and work in Germany, if there is a different cultural behaviour in such cases.