A colleague had recently lost a close relative and was out of office for about a week. He just returned to work.
We do not interact frequently as our duties are not directly related. However, we sit in the same general area and typically see one another a few times a day.
What would be the appropriate way to behave with him, when we initially run into each other upon his return?
I realize this depends on how a few things, such as how they seem to be doing (nonverbal clues), or whether they initiate or do not initiate contact.
For purposes of this question assume the person is somewhat reserved, minds their own business most of the time, and prefers brief, to-the-point interaction (minimal gossip/BS).
That said, it seems odd if I completely ignore the situation pretending as if nothing has happened whatsoever. Especially interested to hear from those who have first-hand experience successfully navigating similar situations.
Note: I have tried to identify duplicates and was unable to find one. I appreciate the reference to the question: What is an appropriate response to the death of a coworker's loved one?. Although there is overlap, this question is different in the following ways:
The other OP specifically stated that "I could approach him during work hours and offer my condolences, but that definitely does not fit my office's culture." This case is the exact opposite.
The other OP requested assistance with a broader approach, which potentially involved attending the viewing, making a donation, etc, whereas this question specifically asks for the appropriate direct interaction with a colleague who returned after a leave related to the passing of a family member.