Considering going back to work

Hi everyone. It’s 3 weeks today that my partner passed away. I can’t believe it. It seems like yesterday and forever all in one.
I was her full time carer and I work full time as well.
She had a long illness starting with her having cervical cancer and because of the treatment she had it damaged all her pelvic organs which she eventually had to have them all removed but the radiotherapy damaged her kidneys. The damage to her kidneys got worse and eventually there was nothing left that they could do.
If I wasn’t at home I was at the hospital with her if not there then at work.
My whole life was her. Everything I did was for her. I look now and wondered how on earth I did that.
Now she’s gone there is a massive hole in my life. I’m off work at the minute but I just find myself wandering around wondering what the hell to do with myself now.
I spent 2 hours in Morrisons yesterday and all I bought was a can of macaroni cheese. I don’t even like macaroni cheese….
I have a FIT note until Monday and I am seriously considering going back to work on Monday. But I don’t know if it’s the right thing to do. I feel I need some routine and normality in my life, as since she left my routine, well there is none, as I no longer have her to care for.
I still feel numb about her passing and I don’t think I have even begun to grieve properly yet. I cry but not nearly as hard as I thought I would. I know it’s early days yet and it will probably hit me like a train at some point, but I can’t just sit here. I also feel guilty about even considering going back to work. Like it’s a dishonour to her. Like I’m just getting on with it. We were always together did everything together and I feel like half of me is missing.
I will miss her for the rest of my life, she was the love of my life. I know I have to go back to work at some point. I’m 46 no hope of retirement yet! I just don’t know what to do with myself.
How long was everyone else off work when their partner passed?
Thank you for reading my ramblings x


Sorry for your loss. Can you go back on a phased return? It took me 5 months and was then a very slow return. Hour a day, then two hours, I’m now permanently part time.

However, being back at work had been a godsend, as has this site.

Good luck.

My wife died 7 weeks ago tomorrow. This is my second week back at work (4 days a week), having been off since the end of August, when she was hospitalised.

I have found that the routine of getting up for work and bring occupied during the day helps to stop you constantly thinking of what/who you have lost.

I work from home and sometimes in the office and coming back to a house that she is not in is heartbreaking and even the dogs don’t soften the blow, but at least I have to then go out and walk them, etc.

Only you will know if going back to work is right for you and if you can have a phased return, or pop in before starting work that may also help.

Take care…Pete

@Ali29 @PJ64 thank you your your messages.
I would be able to do a phased return to work, which will help me get back into the routine of it all.
I just think I’m crazing some sort of normal back.
I just find myself sitting around and everywhere I look there are constant reminders. I don’t have children but I do have 2 west highland terriers, who are a comfort and obviously need to be looked after.
When my parents passed within a year of each other 6 years ago I was off work for nearly 6 months. I fell into a downward spiral and became very depressed. I really don’t want to go there again.
I’m under no illusion that going back to work will be easy and it certainly won’t fill the massive whole that’s in my life, nor will my life be the same normality it was. But I’m driving myself crazy just sat here gazing into space.
Thank you again for your advice xxx

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So sorry for your loss, I’m 8 weeks into this never ending nightmare. I got a sick paper yesterday for another month but I’m thinking of going back before this. Some days I feel I can do it and other days I can’t face getting out of bed. I’m sure my hubby wouldn’t want me moping about and crying all the time. I’m just so lost without him. We did everything together he was the love of my life. I don’t have children and I wish I could sleep through Christmas as I can’t imagine it without him.x

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Hi @Helen24 I am sorry for your loss xx
You’re right, it’s a constant nightmare but you’re awake and there’s no getting away from it.
I know it’s early days and we must be kind to ourselves but like you we do everything together and I feel so lost now.
I also can’t even contemplate Christmas without them. I can’t even think that far ahead really. I know it will be here before I know it.
Take care xx

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Thank you, you take care and sending hugs to you.x

@Dee123 sorry for your loss. I was off work for about 8 weeks before my husband away as he was very ill and in and out of hospital. I was then off for 3 weeks after & went back on a phased return over about 6 weeks. There is no right or wrong but it definitely helped me going back to work. Like yourself I couldn’t just sit about the house and needed purpose and routine. Take care


Hi sorry for your loss , do what you feel is right for you just give it a try see how it goes don’t put any pressure on yourself, just stared back on phased return after 10 months don’t know how I feel about at the minute just giving it a chance, hope it goes well for you take care

Hi @Dee123, my partner passed away 5 weeks ago and I started back to work this week on the basis I do as much or little as I feel I can. I’m lucky I can work from home, office or dip in to my actual setting job with a colleague when able. I’ve managed to work from home 2 days and popped to the office for 4 hrs. It’s been a rollercoaster but it’s been some kind of normality for me and stopped me from sitting in the house and just sobbing or sleeping the day away when I could. However I am exhausted tonight so won’t be going in tomorrow, I think if your employers are willing to be flexible try it but the problem always comes that as soon as you are back people suddenly think you are okay which has happened with some colleagues of mine but I’ve just set them straight as to my terms of coming back. It is a hard call to make and there is no right or wrong unfortunately. Good luck with whatever you decide to do.

@Foreveryoung81 so sorry to hear of your loss. None of us want to be here at all……
I just feel I can’t sit here all day. On my own. Staring into space.
My employer is really understanding, thankfully. I work for the government so they should bloody be!
A phased return is something I can do. And I am considering it because I am sitting g here driving myself insane.
I know it will be hard and I have no expectations of if it’s the right or wrong thing to do. I’ll take the consequences either way.
I’m so lonely. Lost and don’t know what to do. She s my life and now she’s gone there is not one for me.
My thoughts may change as I journey through the grief but right now I dunno what’s best xx


@Dee123 the only thing I will say is that it wasn’t until about 4/5 weeks in that it has dawned on me he isn’t coming back :pensive: I think until now I’ve been swept away with the sorting and supporting others, yes I cried buckets but I was somehow at peace he wasn’t in pain or suffering as he had been for the last year. But the realisation is setting in that this is it, this is my life now and he’s not coming back, I had this overwhelming feeling I was always waiting for something and didn’t know what. And now I feel the realisation has hit and I’m lost, just take it day by day with work. Maybe start by going to visit colleagues for lunch and talking about work again and what you have missed and build it up that way. In some ways it’s a part of my old life that hurts as my working day will never be the same without my hourly check ins from Lee or the making plans for our evenings and weekends. But some of us just simply can’t be at home all the time, although today after dropping my daughter to school that is exactly what I am doing, going back to bed and not facing the world as today I simply can’t. Keep talking on here it really does help :heart:

@Foreveryoung81 , you’ve summed it up, the realisation that they aren’t coming back is beginning to sink in. They’ll never look older than that last picture we have of them. We won’t hear their voice again, or have a hug and kiss.

It’s sh*t

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@Paddy53 it is that alright! It’s cruel, I can’t stop thinking of all those dreams for our future that were only dreams as they were meant to happen with him. Without him they hold no meaning to me anymore, I don’t know how we will get through this but all we can do is keep going forward because we can’t go back as much as I so wish we could. I hate the feeling my life has no meaning when I have 2 beautiful children and an amazing family but I just feel like half of me went with him and I will never be that same person because he made me that way.
What have you decided to do about work on Monday?

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It took me 6 months to go back to work , I had to quit my job and go on universal credit , because my work was not so understanding and I tried, but kept letting them down , I did get a bevreament allowance which helped financially. When I decided to go back they took me back part time, which helped and I felt normal again for three days a week ! My advice take it slow don’t push yourself to go back all at once because you may find it too much , but if you can do some work it will help ! I wish you well Hun :heartbeat: its bloody hard x

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Thank you :heart: I have managed quite a lot this week but it exhausts me to the trying to be okay in public and to think in a work frame of mind. That being said having some normality has been good for me I think, evenings are another matter and I’m not sleeping well at all :pensive:

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@Rachey82 when you said work wasn’t supportive what did you mean? I’ve been off for 10 weeks and I’m going back to work on Monday. I work on a customer service desk in a supermarket and people can be very rude. Also obviously the time of year it being Christmas is massively on my mind. I think I’m ready as I’m spending too much time on my own and I’m hoping being around people will help a bit.x


You need to do what’s right for you. I’m 46 and cared for my husband full time who had cancer (along with 2 young kids and a dog). He passed away last week, aged 43, so I’m quite knew to the post death grief, even though I’ve been grieving since he was diagnosed 17 months ago.
I can absolutely appreciate so much of what you are saying. For me, I’ve had 3 deaths in 3 years now and I need to try and put myself back together before I even consider getting a job (I had to leave my last job to be his carer). I also have the boys which are my main priority.
If you feel work may help just take it easy and do the phased return and pull back again if it’s too soon.
I used to read posts on here and think “I’m not going to be like that, I’m just going to get on with life… I have to” but my god it’s not that easy, I went from relief that he had died, as he was no longer suffering, to just pure sadness…


Hi Nori, I have been thinking of you and the boys. I had the relief first too as seeing the person we loved in pain was so hard but like you then came the wave of pure sadness, and being scared too. Nearly 7 weeks on for me now and I think this pain will forever remain as does the love I have but somehow I am functioning better x

@Nori life is so bloody cruel isn’t it! 43 is no age, my husband was only 44 he died very suddenly. A few people have said it’s too soon for me to go back but I know I can’t keep sitting at home alone it’s not doing me any good. I don’t drive and I don’t have family around me. Steve would be telling me to go and get myself out of the house. I only work part time at the moment so it’s not like I have to do like an 8 hour shift. Sending you a hug.x

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