Going back to work

Hi all
I lost my partner suddenly in March and have been off work since
I work in a special needs school and don’t get me wrong they have been supportive even arranged and paid for counselling
I’ve been discussing going back and have agreed to go back on 17th July
I feel sick to the stomach about going back and seeing people and… well basically been an emotional wreck
Is it too soon to go back?
Im on meds will it affect me ?
I just don’t know what to do


I think returning to work is a very difficult one. To be honest if you don’t feel ready then you probably aren’t. Can you go in just for a couple of hours at first? I think facing people the first time is the worst, maybe pop in beforehand if you can bear it to say hello, get the hurdle of meeting colleagues again over.

To me doing things for the first time after losing my Mum has been awful. Seeing people struggling to know what to say to me, how to behave around me… Be honest with your colleagues, if someone asks how you are that day and you are not too good say you aren’t. Some people understand, others don’t. If the latter then their loss.

Don’t be put under pressure to do anything you don’t feel ready for. Best of luck with whatever you decide.


Hi Lindseymark

I feel exactly the same and totally relate to how your feeling. I lost my dear dad the of march and I have not returned to work since. I’m due to go back the 17 July the same day. I feel very anxious and also now suffer from panic attacks. I’m going back on a phased return. Could that be an option for you. I’m dreading facing people aswell but maybe it will be good for us. Try not to put too much pressure on yourself. Im sure your employer will totally understand. I don’t think I will be ever ready to return to work but can only try the best I can. Take care and hugs Lindsey xx

I think what Mel said is pretty spot on. It is that initial facing people.

I went back to work shortly after my dad died. But that was because I couldn’t bare to be at home on my own, drowning in my feelings. The other two ladies on my team have been fantastic and when I say I’m having a tough day, they’re great. Plus, my job really isn’t at all taxing so I knew there would be no mental strain.

It really is a personal choice and if you can do this baby steps to begin with, then at least you’re not pushing yourself too hard. But only you will know when you’re ready.

Hi Mel
Thanks for replying
I’m gonna start going in a couple of days just for a chat and cup of tea With my line manager so hopefully I will start to see people that way rather than all at once on my first day back my doctor has said if I don’t feel ready then leave it until I am

Hi Joey
Thanks for your comment
Yes im going on phased return
Know what you mean about being anxious the thought of just stepping foot in the place makes me feel ill
It’s hard because that is where I was the day my partner was ill and I left him to go to work knowing something wasn’t right with him it’s all the guilt I have
I’m sure I will be fine and my line manager totally understands what’s going on in my mind
Hope the day turns out well for you too
Keep me informed as to how it went
Take care xx

Hi LinseyMark I went back to work beginning of June after my husband passed away suddenly on 28th February aged 45 (I’m 46) we have two sons 15 and 18 years old…I was on a phased return but after two weeks I couldn’t handle the normality of everyone getting on with work and I was/still am distraught overwhelmed with grief so I am currently off sick again trying to get my head around everything I am due back on the 18th July …I hope it goes ok for you but just take your time .
Take care



I lost my husband the end of may,I’m going back to work 18th July,but went into work 2 weeks ago to see everyone and get that initial 1st meeting with everyone over and done with,yes lots of years,but I’m now not so worried about going back to work,try it that may help you.x

I lost my much loved husband in March too. We met at 14 and loved each other for 46 years, being married for 39 years.
I went back to work 2 weeks after his funeral. Now looking back it was too early. I threw myself into going back. I’m a teacher so didn’t have time to think about how much I had lost and how badly I felt. It did give me a purpose to get up and so tired at night I began to sleep. For me it was the right thing to do. My colleagues were fantastic as was my boss. I found myself one day just sitting in the staff room crying. The nearest teacher just held my hand and gradually I felt better.
I’m now on my summer holidays and am miserably sad and grief stricken!!! Over the last few weeks I’ve had lots of Firsts. First night out with friends, first family wedding etc and I was miserable but forced myself to go. I can’t see the pain ever going away and I suppose what I want you to know is that there are loads of us out there. Widows who are trying to cope in the vacuum that is grief.
Hang on in there. Keep on this site. Talk to your love ones. My son and daughter have been such a support. I hope I’ve reciprocated.
I hope you find the strength to go back to work as I’m sure like me it will help you get through the day.

My daughter took her own life on 24th. May she was 18. The GP has signed me off until 21 July, I phoned them yesterday and they seem very loathe to giving me longer off work. I am now starting to panic about how I will manage this. I think everyone is individual and will know when they are ready!

Don’t know your employment rights but any doctor will continue to sign you off under what must be utterly awful times for you. I can’t imagine the sorrow you must be feeling. Insist that you need more time off. I’m considering having counselling to help with my loss have you considered this ?

Hi Eve62, thank you for your reply. People have talked about counselling and bereavement counselling, just not sure if I could cope talking to a stranger and have to go over it all again. My daughter and I had been fighting her mental health illness for two very long years, she finally won. I feel I have let her down so much and I don’t know how to actually speak those words to someone. I feel like the worst parent in the world!!

Hi Lindsaymark
Hope your first day at work went ok. I’m returning to work tomorrow. I really anxious and don’t know if I’m doing the right thing. I’m still all over the place and worry I will get upset. I really hope your ok. Take care x

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Hi Joey
I didn’t go back my doctor said she felt I wasn’t ready so still off sick I know iv got to go back eventually and the longer I stay off the harder it’s going to be but at the moment my hearts just not in it i have however been going in on the odd day just for a coffee and to see people which has helped a little
Hope your return to work went ok
Speak to your doctor and tell them how you feel and about your anxiety thats what I did
Take care my friend x