Greenbelt, MD cremations

Returning to Work after the Loss of a Loved One

Going back to work after Greenbelt, MD cremations is probably one of the toughest things adults have to do when someone dies. Unless a company has a generous bereavement policy, most employees get to take off three “free” days of work. They may, in the United States, be able to get more time off using personal time off (PTO) if their employer allows them to be gone longer than that (and many employers discourage it), and when they run out of PTO, then they can take up to 12 weeks of unpaid time off under the Family Leave Act, if the employer allow them to.

Since most Americans are hired as at-will employees, employers have the control over what they will allow as a reasonable amount of time away from the job (despite PTO and federal legislation in the Family Leave Act) before they replace the employee. So, whether a person is ready to return to work or not, most people head back to the office after their three days for bereavement are over.

But anyone who has experienced the loss of someone near and dear to them knows that three days is just the beginning of the grieving process, and trying to work while the intensity of grief is gripping every thought, every moment creates a tremendous amount of stress and anxiety (work will often be late or just unfinished and completed work will have errors, which is, quite frankly, not the person’s fault, but poor employment policies that don’t allow adequate time for people to get some semblance of their emotion balance back after they’ve lost somebody).

When people return to work after the death of loved ones, their emotions will be raw. It will be an almost surreal experience to be so emotionally taxed, in so much pain, and in the tight grip of grieve and see the workplace just humming along as usual.

Although some people may offer condolences, it’s far more likely that they’ll be expected to pick up right where they left off three days before. That may mean a looming deadline has to be met and the leadership team is breathing down their necks to get it done (and, depending on personalities, they may not be nice people to begin with, so this pressure will make them less nice and more hurtful). It may mean they’re expected to attend and participate in staff meetings or other kinds of meetings where, again, life goes on as it always has and whatever tenor normally accompanies these is the same, and that may be offensive in light of what the bereaved are experiencing.

Although it will be hard, there are a few strategies that can make things a little less hard.

One thing is to let the Human Resources (HR) department or manager know how they want to handle the death in terms of coworkers. Most people would rather not discuss it at work because it’s so emotional, so HR and/or management can pass that along and make things a little easier.

People who are grieving need to rehearse a few standard replies to small talk that will not make them seem rude, but will enable them to keep going and not have to engage in it for any length of time.

One of the problems will be focus, but grieving people can develop strategies for being more focused. To-do lists will help with organization and breaking projects down into bite-sized tasks – in order – will make them easier to tackle and to accomplish.

Another great strategy is to find a safe zone – somewhere quiet where grieving people can be alone. If the workplace has areas outside where it’s easy to walk uninterrupted, most people will find this to be one of the most therapeutic ways to get through the day, and the days ahead.

For more strategies for returning to work after Greenbelt, MD cremations you can talk with our expert staff at Donald V. Borgwardt Funeral Home, P.A. You can drop by our funeral home at 4400 Powder Mill Rd., Beltsville, MD, 20705, or you can contact us today at (301) 937-1707.