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TherapistMarryAnn, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5839
Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
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How do you handle an employer who is more interested in

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How do you handle an employer who is more interested in "running the business" than in their employee?..I have been out for 3 days after the death of my mother (nowhere near enough time), both of my parents are now gone. When I contacted my boss to let her know I would be back tomorrow....all she said was "we'll see you then".....I know I am probably over-reacting, my emotions are all over the place right now......this reaction from my boss was not what I expected, and I was already dreading going back and having to face all my co-workers and all the "sympathies" is way too much now......

Hi, I'd like to help you with your question.

I am sorry about the loss of your mother.

It is easy to feel that emotions are hard to handle right now. You have been through a significant loss. Losing a parents is a major milestone in a person's life and you may feel the loss very deeply. Any type of emotion or reaction from other's can feel like salt in a wound.

It would be nice for your employer to give you more time off. But most employers are going to see your loss as an employee who needed time off, and not much more. Very few employers are able to balance sympathy for an employee with productivity in a business. But most are not able to do that, so they take the safe road of treating everything and everyone from a business perspective.

When your co-workers approach you with sympathies about your mother, they are interested in your welfare and most of them feel helpless about what they can say or do to make you feel better. Accept their comments and offer a smile and a thank you. That is all you are obligated to do.

What is most important right now is how you are feeling about the loss of your mother and how you can take care of yourself. What helps you feel better? Remembering your mother in a special way, talking to others, going out somewhere special, or being alone with a cup of tea and a book. All of these are examples of things you can do to help yourself.

It is important that you allow yourself time to grieve. Often, people will feel obligated to keep up the routine of life and pretend everything is alright. However, you need to allow for time to mourn and allow for the expression of your feelings. As long as it's safe and legal, it's ok to do.

Do you have any supports right now? Good friends and family can help a lot. There are also support groups that can help ease your pain by showing you that you are not alone. Here is a link to find a group:

You can also educate yourself about grief and how to work your way through it. Here are some resources to help you get started:

Healing After Loss: Daily Meditations For Working Through Grief by Martha Whitmore Hickman

On Grief and Grieving: Finding the Meaning of Grief Through the Five Stages of Loss by Elisabeth Kubler-Ross and David Kessler

When there Are No Words: Finding Your Way to Cope with Loss and Grief by Charlie Walton

You can find these books on or your local library may have them for you.

I hope this has helped you,

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Thank you so much......I'm not sure if this is more difficult because I am now a "orphan" or dad died 17 yrs ago, and honestly, I did what you on with life......i was 8 1/2 mos. pregnant with my second child at the time, and had a 4 1/2 yr old as well....there just wasn' t "time" for me..........Anyways, in addition to my mom''s death, my husband and I are contemplating separation/divorce after my discovery of his 3rd, there are so many issues (loss) in my life right now....(as well as my daughter leaving for 27 mos. with the Peace Corps in June)........

Yes, you do have a lot of loss right now in your life. And losing your mother now does make you an orphan in a way. It also affects your view of your own life in that the generation before you is now gone. There is always that sense that when you have your parents, or even just one parent, you are sheltered and not alone. So it is a very normal feeling to feel orphaned after such a loss.

With so many losses in your life, support is even more important. Try the link to the support group. Also, you may want to consider counseling just to get you through and help guide you and support you. Talk with your doctor for a referral or, if you attend church, try talking with your pastor. Faith can play a large part in healing for many people. You can also search on line at

Don't be afraid to ask for help. With what you are going through, it is important that you lean on others until you feel better.


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