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How to write a request for leave for a funeral

Updated February 21, 2017

The death of a family member or friend is one of the most jarring, saddening moments that life throws at you. Among all the feelings of grief, shock and profound melancholy, there are often a great deal of arrangements that you have to make immediately. For example, aside from booking travel tickets and organising where you'll stay and who you'll stay with, you need to justify to your employer why you need to take days off of work. Making a formal, written documentation of the request for time off and the reason is a wise move.

Type your home address in the top left corner of the paper. Skip a line. Type the date. Skip another line and type the address of your place of business.

Skip another line and type "RE: Request for time off" or "RE: Request for ___ days off." Fill in the blank with the number of days you'll need.

Type "Dear" plus the name of your boss or the director of the human resources department. Skip a line. Explain that you've just received the unfortunate news that a person in your family or a friend has passed. If it is a relative, state your relation to this person.

Give your travel details. Explain to your boss where you will be travelling for the funeral, if anywhere, and if you'll have to play a role in organising the funeral or hosting the wake. State how many days you'll need to take off.

Write specific details of how your boss can reach you during this time. While many employers will not request this, some will need to touch base with you. For example, you could write, "During this time, e-mail will be the best way to keep in touch with me."

Type "Sincerely," and your name underneath it.

Tip

If your bereavement is too great, it's perfectly acceptable to explain that succinctly in your letter and state that you will not be available for work-related communication.

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About the Author

Lane Cummings is originally from New York City. She attended the High School of Performing Arts in dance before receiving her Bachelor of Arts in literature and her Master of Arts in Russian literature at the University of Chicago. She has lived in St. Petersburg, Russia, where she lectured and studied Russian. She began writing professionally in 2004 for the "St. Petersburg Times."