Stillbirth, #ReturnToZero, & Bereavement Leave

by Matthew Stollak on Thursday, May 15, 2014

One of the most challenging and difficult experiences any one must confront is the loss of a child through stillbirth. The hopes and aspirations that you and spouse had are dashed. And, the emotional devastation that follows can be difficult to handle.   Individuals want to be supportive, but few do not know how to react and know the right words to say.

My good friend Sean Hanish, and his wonderful wife Kylie, unfortunately went through this experience 8 years ago, when they lost their son at 35 weeks. Sean turned his grief into a wonderful new movie starring Minnie Driver and Paul Adelstein which has its world premiere on Saturday, May 17th on Lifetime at 8pm/7pm central.  You can check out the trailer for the film below:


Unfortunately, bereavement leave is limited.  According to SHRM's "Examining Paid Leave in the United States,"87% of companies surveyed offer bereavement leave, which means 13% do not. Further,  following the death of a spouse, domestic partner or child, for instance, 69% of respondents provided up to three days of paid bereavement leave; 70% provide up to three days following a miscarriage or stillbirth; and 72% offered up to three days after the death of a sibling or parent.  Is three days of paid leave really enough?!?

To learn more about the film, please check out the website at  It not only has a behind the scenes look at the film, but has a number of resources to deal with stillbirth and miscarriage.

I hope you check out the film this weekend.

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