Deaths are unscheduled, and non-negotiable. If an employee needs time off because a loved one has died, s/he should get it. Period. The only thing s/he should be hearing from the boss is, "Oh, I'm so sorry. Take as much time as you need, and let me know when you're able to come back."
Boss and co-workers can whine and moan to their heart's content about the difficulty of covering for the bereaved person ... *to themselves.* Or maybe their spouses. But an employee should *never* be pressured, guilt-tripped, disciplined or (heaven forbid) fired for missing work because of a *death.*
BTDT. My senior year in college, I worked full time and had a full course load. My father died on a Monday. I got the call from my mom that night, called my boss to give her a heads-up, and drove home Tuesday morning. When I got there, my mom and siblings had made the wake and funeral arrangements (without me, but that's a story for another thread), and I was told the funeral would be Friday. I panicked, because my boss had told me I could have the day before, the day of and the day after the funeral off. But in that time, place and religious tradition, there were two days of wake, then the funeral. Day before and day after wasn't going to work.
I called her and told her that, and the first words out of her mouth were: "Well, I hope you realize what this is doing to my schedule." I was too flustered to give the non-Ehell approved response that I wish, 30 years later, I could have given. I simply told her it was out of my hands. I wasn't fired or disciplined, but I lost a lot of respect for her after that.
When she decided to replace me a few months later (and didn't *tell* me; I had to see it on the calendar: "Rick A___ starts today"!), I can't say it ruined my day.