Giving the gift of presence (Guest Commentary)

Cultural change isn’t an instantaneous event – it happens one person at a time and is built one conversation at a time
By Ian Hendry
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 03/04/2016

A very close friend of my wife lost her mother a few weeks ago. In fact, this friend was my wife’s maid of honour at our wedding. The funeral was, as you would expect, very sad, but buoyed by the mother’s rich legacy gifted to her children and grandchildren. The priest talked about the gift of “presence,” offered in the context that everyone present was there in loving support of the family.


It was appreciated and important to the grieving process. We were reminded that each of us provided a very unique and personal connection to the bereaved family members. Our presence demonstrated a genuine care and concern for each family member in mourning and it was this outpouring of emotion that would sustain the family during this time of tragic loss.