How to Write a Funeral Absence Letter
When a death occurs in your family, you may be required to notify your place of business or school that you will need a leave of absence for bereavement purposes. Although many companies have policies in place for bereavement leave, not all of them do, and you may or may not be granted the time off depending on how you craft your request.
If you find yourself in need of a funeral absence letter, here are a few tips for writing one that will work in a professional setting.
State your purpose. Short and to the point is always better than a detailed explanation.
Example: I’m writing to inform you of a recent death in my family and to request a formal leave of absence.
Be clear on who has passed away and what kinds of arrangements are being made. Without going into excessive detail, indicate your relationship to the deceased and the time/place of the funeral. Having clear and accessible information will help management determine if you are qualified for leave.
Example: My aunt passed away, and her funeral will be held on Tuesday, October 5th in Tucson, AZ.
Indicate how much time you will need. Be sure to include time for travel, any time you will need to spend with family after the funeral takes place, and any personal time you suspect you may need.
Example: I would like to request two weeks of leave in order to accommodate travel and bereavement time.
If applicable, indicate any vacation or sick leave you want to apply to your paycheck. (This is only if your company does not have a built-in bereavement policy.)
Example: I currently have two weeks of vacation I would like to use to cover this leave.
Close with an expression of regret, but don’t question your right to bereavement leave. Most companies are all too aware that keeping you on the job during this time will be detrimental to your overall mental health and their productivity. You deserve this time to mourn and be with those you love.
Example: Thank you for your understanding and support during this difficult time.
In most cases, this letter should be handed either to your direct supervisor or the human resources department in charge of handling leave. When possible, deliver the letter in person, as the additional personalized touch will carry more weight.