On Loss and Grief and Corporate Bereavement Policies

As human beings, we share feelings of loss and grief. We share them in the sense that all of us experience significant losses in our lives and often need to grieve for a period of time to accept and adapt to the loss, both mentally and emotionally.

However, within the world of business, we seldom share feelings of loss and grief in the sense of becoming emotionally engaged with one another in the grieving process.

Corporate Bereavement Image

In generations past, everyone in the community gathered to mourn the death of one of its members. The town bell was rung. Wood was gathered for the casket. The community came to pay its respects, and nearly everyone arrived with a story about the deceased. Afterward, community members provided what was needed for the grieving family. They cooked meals, performed chores, and even provided financial assistance to help the family regain its footing. They didn’t ask what they could do to help; they just did it. There was no mystery of how to help a person after a loss.

In my experience, we now live in a culture that doesn’t know how to grieve as a community, or even how to share feelings of loss and grief with close friends or colleagues. Even worse, many people dismiss the grieving process as unnecessary, at best, or even as a waste of valuable time.

Case in point: Only one state — Oregon — requires employers to Continue reading…