Grief affects everyone differently. For some, the blow of losing a loved one pushes work to the backburner, while others put all their energy into their job to distract themselves from feeling the pain and loss. Regardless of how one copes, having a supportive employer is a key part of getting through that difficult time.
After Rachael M., a human resources professional from San Diego, CA, unexpectedly lost her 25-year-old sister to pneumonia, she didn’t know what to do. She was suddenly a foster mom to her 3 week-old niece and had no idea where to start. After driving home from the hospital, she went straight to work. She took to LinkedIn to express how much her boss’s initial reaction to all she was going through meant to her.
“When my boss arrived, I apologized for needing to take some time off. She looked at me stunned, confused, gave me the biggest hug, ushered me out of the office and told me to take as much time as I needed. She said ‘work doesn’t exist right now,’ I will never forget those words.”
Those five little words left a lasting impression on Rachael. She credited her boss and her company’s support for her lasting success that ultimately led her to adopt her niece three years later. She stayed at the company for seven years.
“At 23, I didn’t know much about babies, or becoming a Foster mom, or what my life was going to look like. But I knew kindness, and all I saw around me was kindness. My employer and coworkers drenched me in kindness.” Rachael wrote.
Now that’s the kind of support we can all hope for from not only coworkers, but our bosses and superiors too. Rachael finished the post saying her adopted daughter is now 14.
While grief and death are inevitable, it’s good to know there are people in your workspace or office that have your wellbeing in mind. Having that support system, especially when losing someone close to you, is imperative. When dealing with so much stress at once, having an employer that understands why you can’t give something your all will make or break your grieving process.
Rachael ended her post with an uplifting sentiment we can all get behind—a reminder that we’re all human.
“When our employees are going through hard times, BE KIND. Let them know that work doesn’t exist.”