Who here has had to face the argument at work, of justifying why you need a day or more off for a funeral or bereavement leave?

I hear stories from people constantly (and have experienced myself the brutality of work places), telling people that the person they need to take time off for to grieve, to plan a funeral, and attend their funeral was not considered by the work place as a “close enough” family member.

I’m sorry Boss, but who the hell are you tell me who is and who isn’t important to me.

Its one thing to take time off every week for a funeral of some distance friend, that you have not seen in 20 years. We could probably find a funeral a week if we go to, if we went to every person we ever had contact with funeral. I am talking about people who are not your blood parent, sibling or child. Maybe a grandparent, foster carer, Aunt, Uncle or close family friend has cared for you more than your own “close blood family”.

In todays world more and more families are fragmented, children are being put in care, and/or loving caring people step into their lives as substitute missing grandparents or parents. Some of these relationships can be life long, and go beyond that of a short placement. Maybe its the family friend that took you and your siblings away every school holidays, to give your parents a break. They had no other family, and invested their lives into your family. Yet when someone like that who planted hope in people’s lives and provided a safe a secure foundation for them in life dies, workplaces expect them to be swept aside. Comments like “maybe take the funeral day off” or at its most grotesque “can you come back in the afternoon”.

I know of many cases where people would rather plan funerals and grieve for a great friend, or relative that is not considered close by society. It is true if you map it out, they are not closely related. But maps don’t capture the quality of the relationship. Your parents may have abused you horrifically, you may not want to ever acknowledge them in life, or death. Yet some beautiful soul comes and loves you, with nothing to gain and you are forbidden to take time off work to honour them.


Leave a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: