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After a death in the family …

Marci Alboher, the New York Times careers
columnist, posted an entry on her blog last week about the conflicts
and guilt generated about trying to do one’s work after a death in the family. A
death occurred in Alboher’s own family, and she reported on her own conflicts
and guilt. For anyone who has lost a close family member recently — and even if
you haven’t — it is worth a read.

After a death in the family, your first
responsibility is to other family members. But as Alboher notes, there are often
times when not much is going on and you’re tempted to check in with the work
place, via telephone or e-mail. That’s where the internal conflicts kick in.

For scientists in the a lab or engineers
working on a tightly scheduled project, losing a family member can cause serious
disruptions in work schedules, even where fellow lab or project partners pull
together to help out a buddy in crisis.  While companies or institutions may
have policies about taking time off for bereavement, it is difficult to predict
how much time a person needs to reconnect with work. As Alboher says, "So here I
am, physically back at work, and wondering when my mind will join me back in the

While Alboher’s post is personal, perhaps
part of her own grieving process, it’s a reminder of the need to expect the
unexpected and build connections with your colleagues for when the unexpected

One comment on “After a death in the family …”

  1. FunnyDevil says:

    Pretty cool blog you’ve got here. Thanx for it. I like such themes and everything connected to them. BTW, try to add some photos :).

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