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Lets Talk – Immediate Family

Hello all you beautiful people.

Today, I come to you with a simple question. Who do you consider to be your immediate family? I ask this because recently a couple of my coworkers have had losses within their family. One of them just had the misfortune of losing a beloved uncle, while the other had the devastating blow of losing the love of their life! I would say that these would fall under “immediate family”, or am I mistaken?

According to workplace policy, immediate family is considered to be one’s mother, father, and/or siblings. This clearly doesn’t include anyone else that you are close to and share strong emotional ties with. This makes it unfair to the person, whom also lost a loved one, to stay at work simply because the individual wasn’t their sister.

On one hand I understand why the policy is in place. For those individuals that have an overwhelming obsession with finding any reason under the sun to not come in to work. For those “bad apples”, shame on you! Because of your bad behavior we all must suffer at the hands of corporate greed. Imagine, you’re thinking that when you called in initially and informed a supervisor about your uncle passing they would let you know right off the bat whether or not bereavement for an uncle is acceptable or not. Instead, they allow you the day, followed by another within the week, not once stating that only immediate family are claims for bereavement. The funeral is in a day and you just find out that you are not able to take the day off to attend the funeral. Now you are in torment over the loss and the fact that you can’t see them off.

This is an unfortunate situation that, too often, rings true for a lot of other workers out there. What if a boyfriend died, but since you aren’t married, you are not able to take the time you need to get over the initial pain of the loss. What if you had to come in the next day as if nothing happened. Luckily at my place of employment there are a few good people who understand loss extends beyond the “immediate” family and still leaves the same scars. Thankfully because of them, these persons were either able to have time off, or were given an alternative means to go to the service without receiving an unnecessary absence.

In a lot of cases, whenever we experience the loss of a loved one, we don’t think of whether or not they are an immediate family member because the pain felt is that of one within that group. Several of us had the conversation of what we considered immediate family to be and we all come to a similar conclusion. That if they were among your first line of relations it would be considered immediate. i.e. cousin, uncle, aunt, grandparent, niece, nephew. As long as the words “great” or “second, third, fourth” weren’t included, they were immediate.

It’s always sad to see others hurting and not being able to step in and make a drastic change on the situation. All we are able to do is walk alongside and provide a wall of support and love. Most people understand that when a person is mourning they need the strength of others to help them continue forward until they can regain their own strength. In some cases the person may need a hard shove into healthy recovery, but the important thing is that we are all in this together and we need each other through the hard times.

Tell me what you consider to be immediate family and your views on bereavement and how it can include more than just immediate family.

Thanks again for stopping by, be blessed.

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