I know of someone who — by God’s grace, the loving support of family and friends, and sheer will — is surviving the unthinkable, the impossible.
Of course, as is the human condition when we hear of such soul-shaking loss, I imagined how I would manage to sweep up the tiny broken pieces of myself if I ever lost one of my precious children. I could think of nothing, and fervently hope and pray I never have to figure it out.
Then, perhaps an indication that I’ve been in this business too long, my next thought was: How did her husband’s employer treat him? (She was a stay-at-home mom, as best I know.) Did his manager say, “Take all the time you need — don’t worry about anything except your family”? Or did someone call after a few days to remind him of the company’s bereavement leave policy — even in the death of a child, many employers offer just three days — and ask him, gently but pointedly, when he might be returning to work?
I’ve been wondering all morning, and in the absence of anything else to post about today, I thought I’d ask you to join me in wondering: About what your bereavement policy looks like in flesh-and-blood, not just on paper. About how and if you might need to change it to reflect the different relationships employees have and the different ways in which we all grieve. About how, if you needed your company’s bereavement leave, would the policy — and the company culture that influences it — bring you comfort or anxiety?
As always, please share your thoughts in the comments.
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