bereavement six months on

My husband died beginning of September 2017 we had been married for 42 years his health had been declining for a while he was taken into hospital in July with breathing problems he had been on oxygen at home but died six weeks later .In the beginning I seemed to be coping I work part time and had a phased back to work 10-3 for three days.Got through his birthday our wedding anniversary Christmas . Then from nowhere I fell into deepest despair and felt worse than when my husband first passed away. I’m now off work sick again and I have my workplace hounding me about when I’m going back and they have asked for my permission to see my medical records. This is stressing me out!!! I am seeing a bereavement councellor but its only every month .I am quite a guarded person and d’ont have many friends to confide in my family are doing the best they can but they are grieving too .I’m heartbroken and so scared of my future alone I feel like a piece of me is missing I’m so sad and d’ont know how to carry on.

Hi Baby10n

So sorry to hear how you are feeling. From what I can understand six months seems to be a low point for many people. My husband died five months ago and I have muddled through since then. I woke up from a horrible dream this morning which upset me, so I know there is more to come. Your workplace is wrong to hound you about going back to work. They certainly do not have the right to ask for your medical records. Is there a HR person you could talk to who would be more sympathetic. If it is making you anxious, phone ACAS you will let you know your rights. You must take as much time as you need to grieve. Seeing a counsellor once a month doesn’t sound good. Is there any chance you could increase your sessions? Thinking of you and wishing you and others on this site peace of mind.


Hello Baby10n,

I am so sorry to read of your loss and how awful your employers are being towards you. I have unfortunately heard about this before with other people. I know your employers have to ask your permission to see your medical records so have you been back to your Doctor and told him or her this? They will say that any response from them to your workplace will have to be paid for by your employers, will they like that I wonder? Your Doctor can also issue as part of the certificate they give you instructions that you are not to be contacted by work whilst off sick, the contact must come from you to work only. This means you can ring when you feel able. Emails can be ignored. I had this a number of years back when written off with stress following workplace bullying after being phoned three or four times a day with trivial requests. It stopped the phone calls completely but not the bullying long term, I never went back!

Seeing a bereavement counsellor is good as an independant person to talk to is better. Like you I am quite guarded and don’t easily trust others with my private thoughts until I know them extremely well. Whatever you may feel at the moment you are doing well, you have got through some of those awful first anniversaries. All you can do is take each day as it comes. 19 months on for me from losing my Mum and I still find it incredibly hard to get up in the morning. I have a cup of tea or coffee and a couple of biscuits and tell myself I will get up in 20 minutes which so often stretches into 40 minutes or an hour! I believe in rewards for getting through the more miserable days, bunch of flowers to cheer me up or similar. I try to keep away from the wine and chocolate though.

You take care of yourself

Hello Scorpio
I don’t remember my dreams at the minute but hope to have some happy dreams in the future i know what you mean about muddling through I feel in a muddle quite a lot lately. I am trying to get more sessions with counsellor I see her again next week so I will ask then. My doctor has suggested that also. Regarding HR we don’t have that were I work and I’m not in a union . I will find out from ACAS what my rights are Thank You for your advice Sweet Dreams


Hello Mel
Thank You for your reply I see my doctor next week I don’t think they will like paying to see anything It’s a small company that I work for so no HR no union In the past issues with other members of staff have been knee jerk reactions and caused undue stress so I’m not suprised at whats happening but its still not nice I feel saddened by the way it was done my boss is very business minded and I don’t think she sees any of us as people which is unfortunate .Im sorry about your Mum it must be hard it doesn’t seem to get any easier for people no matter how many months/years have passed does it .I really like your idea of a little treat now and again I will give that a go over next few days . Remember its Easter egg time so you are allowed to indulge you have an excuse !!! Take Care