A recently published Huffington Post article discussed whether or not the process of grieving was now perceived as a form of holistic healing or alternative medicine. Ann Brennof, an employee of Huffington Post and the article’s writer, discussed the many ways that death has become common to modern people, including the minimal response to the loss of loved ones in the work place. In ancient eastern cultures, the grieving process is considered to be a healing process. Chinese culture, as well as other cultures, traditionally take several days to bury their loved ones and mourn for them. Several eastern cultures host ceremonies that last a full month. Western culture, has never viewed death or grieving as a process that required holistic health or periods of time away from work. And in the modern climate of over production with little emphasis placed on rest or relaxation, the grieving process has become almost completely null and void.
Brennof discussed a study which found that the grieving process caused several of the same chemical reactions in the brain that holistic treatments did. Grief is also nationally recognized as a debilitating process which requires attention and focus that can take away from regular means of employment. Brennof discussed the actions taken by a leader of Facebook, who recently experienced the loss of her husband and was dismayed at the corporation’s 10 day paid time off policy. After returning to work, she lobbied for the implementation of a 21 day grieving period employees who experience the loss of an immediate family member. The Facebook leaders made statements regarding the implementation of new paid leave policies and stated that the company hopes to encourage other large corporations to implement similar policies.
In response to new grief policies and the connection between grief and holistic medicine, many companies have implemented new paid leave policies along with attempts to educate employees about the importance of taking time off during bereavement periods.