Dammit. This is the whole problem (for me, too). You are literally writing a definitive article outlining the insensitivity with which work culture handles personal catastrophic loss, and you are STILL feeling the need to excuse the very rational way you handled your grief. For god’s sake, you PREPLANNED AND TRANSFERRED YOUR WORKLOAD. Do they even know how lucky they are?

My dad died unexpectedly last year. I’m in Alaska, he lived in Oklahoma. My work allows 3 days for bereavement leave. That barely covers time spent in the air, just to get there and back.

But worse than that was the natural progression of expectations after a week, two weeks, etc., that I should be “up to speed” again. This is a pressure not explicitly stated but rather conveyed passively, which for me felt worse.

No. You SHOULD NOT have had to be more blunt, and your coworkers, for any reason other than to convey their deepest regrets, should have left you the hell alone and figured things out for themselves.

I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up, but I know I want it to be spelled right and punctuated correctly. I guess that’s something.

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