Sorry Business is a term used by Indigenous Australians to refer to the death of a family or community member and the mourning process.
Sorry Business includes attending funerals and taking part in mourning activities with the community. This can take an extended period of time, a week or more, and may also involve travelling long distances. It is extremely important in Indigenous cultures that people participate in Sorry Business. Be aware that it is common practice not to mention the name of a deceased person or show pictures of them for some time after they have passed away.
Due to the extended family make up, Sorry Business can sadly be common for Indigenous Australians and the workplace should be supportive and respectful of such commitments.
Attending the funeral of people they know and /or are related to (extended family may mean a person has three grannies) ensures that the spirit of the person that has passed away, is put to rest properly. If they do not attend or, the funeral is not done according to culture, the spirit may cause the person problems.
Funerals are an important family times. If a person has spent time with the family but does not attend the funeral, he/she may be seen as not valuing family. Time should be taken to discuss the support he/she needs to fulfil their obligation.