This is somewhat inspired by FSP's collection of posts today about exam excuses (often family deaths, real or otherwise).
I've had two deaths in the family at times I was scheduled to be in the field. In both cases, I was an important but not totally critical part of the crew.
One death was a grandparent who was 91 and had been battling pneumonia in the nursing home for months. I dealt with the news ok (it wasn't exactly a surprise), but then when I called the project manager to tell him I had to go to the funeral, a bunch of repressed emotion came out and I started bawling on the phone. Manager's response: "Just go to the funeral already! Take off the week! Trust me, I understand."
The other death was of a young (had two small children) relative who was his family's primary breadwinner. We were on a little bit of a death watch, so about 2 weeks before the fieldwork, I explained the situation to the project manager: I told him that there was a very strong chance that I would be taking some time off to attend a funeral/wake in the next couple of weeks and that I would help out as much as much as I could, but that I would be attending the wake and funeral to support the widow. When news of the death came, I called up immediately to arrange things so that the project wouldn't be left in the lurch. The project manager threw a fit about the future absence, I went anyway, and the manager made sure that I never worked for him again.
Did I regret anything I did in the latter situation? Nope.
I work incredibly hard. All my reviews have said "what a team player! So dependable!" I stress out when things go wrong and I go into overdrive to fix them. But it's a job, not my entire reason for existence.