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Going Back to Work After a Loved One Dies

Going back to work after cremation services Cleveland Heights, OH is undoubtedly one of the hardest things you will have to do when your loved one dies.

Unless your company offers a generous bereavement policy, most employees are allowed to take off three days from work for bereavement. Some employers may allow you to personal time off (PTO) if they feel they can allow you to absent from work longer than three days.

However, most employers discourage their employees from taking extra bereavement leave, often using subtle insinuations that your job won’t be safe if you take more than the standard amount of time off.

However, legally, you can use all your PTO and then up to 12 weeks of unpaid time off under the Family Leave Act for bereavement. Be aware, though, that even though you are legally allowed to take this much time off for bereavement, you will likely either be demoted or terminated.

That is because many Americans are hired as at-will employees. This means that employers have 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 you.

So, in reality, whether you are ready to go back to work or not, you are likely to return after your three days of bereavement are over.

But anyone who has experienced the loss of a loved one knows that three days is just the beginning of the grieving process. It will be very stressful for you to try work while the intensity of grief is gripping every thought and every moment of your time.

You will likely find that you have difficulty concentrating and some of your work will be late or unfinished. Your completed work will likely not be up to par with your previous work because you are elsewhere.

Another issue you will have returning to work is that your emotions will be raw. Walking back in the door will probably take you aback because you’re in so much pain, and everyone is going about business as usual.

Your coworkers may offer condolences, but you will be expected to pick up where you left off before your loved one’s death.

That might mean that you’re expected to meet a critical deadline and your leadership team will be breathing down your neck to meet it.

You will also be expected to attend and participate in staff meetings or other kinds of meetings, as well as to immediately get back into the company’s rhythm and mindset.

This will be hard for you. However, there are a few strategies that you can use to make it less difficult.

You should first let Human Resources how you want your loved one’s death handled in terms of coworkers. You may not want to talk about your loved one’s death at work because it’s too emotional, so HR and/or your management team can let your coworkers know that.

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You can rehearse a few standard replies to company small talk that will not make you seem rude, but that will enable you to keep moving without having to engage in it (since this will be the last thing you want to do).

You will have trouble focusing on work, but there are some simple tools that can help you. Use to-do lists to organize and break projects down into ordered, manageable tasks. This will make it easier for you to start and finish them until the project is complete.

Another great strategy is to find a safe zone where you can have quiet time alone. If your company has areas outside where you can take uninterrupted walks, this may be the saving grace that helps you through the days, weeks, and months ahead.

For information about cremation services Cleveland Heights, OH, our compassionate and experienced team at E. F. Boyd & Son Funeral Home is here to help.

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