Sending love after loss

Dear Annie: When I lost our son to suicide in 2012, there were no words to take away the pain. I understood that clumsy attempts to console were well-intended and appreciated the intent.

However, there was one card that meant so much that I still keep where I can see it. It says, “Everything that love could do was done.”

After a deep loss, one will always have times of sadness. It helps to be allowed to express those sad feelings. It helps to speak of the one you have lost and to have others share memories of them.

It is best to respect those sad feelings and not trivialize them with any “get over it” sort of remarks. Sadness and grief cause many to be uncomfortable; therefore, they want those feelings to go away. But it is best to understand that they are part of life, and we can help each other just by being present and caring. — Missing David

Dear Missing David: I am so sorry for your loss.

Dear Annie: The letter from the woman whose daughter had a miscarriage and had to take vacation pay was infuriating. First, the Family and Medical Leave Act requires that employees of companies with more than 50 employees are entitled to “take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave in a year to care for new children or seriously ill family members, or to recover from their own health conditions.”

This is what the Act says about miscarriages: “A pregnant woman can take FMLA leave for incapacity due to pregnancy … for prenatal care, to recover from childbirth or for other serious health conditions related to pregnancy, such as a miscarriage.”

The Pregnancy Discrimination Act says that an employee cannot treat you worse than other employees because you are pregnant or have a condition related to pregnancy. Miscarriage is such a condition. Unless she worked for a small business, the daughter was entitled to unpaid time off that did not cut into her vacation time.

Of course, the real issue is that the United States is the only industrialized country that doesn’t provide paid leave for such situations. I suggest that they lobby their representative and senators to strengthen the law. The FAMILY Act, which is pending before Congress, would ensure that workers can take up to 12 weeks of paid leave for pregnancy, the birth or adoption of a child, recovery from a serious illness or to care for a seriously ill family member. — Pro-Family

Dear Pro-Family: I agree that it seems cruel to make employees take “vacation” time for a miscarriage. Unfortunately, many small businesses could find it difficult to grant 12 weeks of unpaid leave. Thank you for your informative and compassionate letter.

(Send your questions for Annie Lane to dearannie@creators.com. This column is syndicated by Creators Syndicate columnists. Visit the website at www.creators.com.)


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