Paul and I are so lucky that we work for compassionate people who are generous in their understanding of our situation. As a result, they have our unswerving loyalty and gratitude and we will do all we can to ensure we are providing them with a fair value exchange.
However, other people aren’t as lucky. Their bosses and companies might be so focused on the shareholders that management neglect to treat human resources as people. They might punch a time clock so it’s all about the hours. Others may be cobbling together several part-time jobs to bring in income and thus have a harder time negotiating time off for treatments, sick leave, grief time-outs and bucket list to-dos.
There is maternity and paternity leave. Should there be mortality leave?
How long does someone need to cope with a life-threatening illness in themselves or in a spouse or child? The answer is: it depends. But that time is needed surely needs to be recognised. Time to say goodbyes. Time to deal with physical ravages. Time to deal with emotional healing.
White, Western culture as I experience it is a culture that largely fears death. We talk about it quickly, in hushed tones. We do seem to be moving towards services that are celebrations of life rather than hushed gatherings of sorrow and that’s a good thing.
But people with illnesses that are potentially fatal and their families, are not granted extra sick leave entitlements in order to celebrate what’s left of their lives. Shouldn’t that change too?