Just crashed and burned

Good morning, I’m hoping that some of you can give me your thoughts/comfort. My dad died 7 weeks ago which was a shock, he was 56. My mum passed almost 10 years ago at 46 years old. Myself and my brother have done everything from funeral plans, paperwork, probate etc. It’s been so hard, dad was our best friend after mum died, but we’ve kept putting one foot in front of the other. I went back to work 4 days after the funeral (4 weeks ago) and have been ok and looking forward to Christmas etc. Then yesterday I woke up,went to work and just fell apart. I didn’t stop crying, I had to go home. No specific reason for it. I didn’t go in today either even though it’s a bad time at work for me to be off because I just don’t think I can keep my emotions from bubbling out. I saw my GP due to the physical symptoms (sweating at night like crazy, chest pains, sore tummy etc) and have been signed off for a couple of weeks but I feel totally awful about it. I feel I’m letting people down. It’s quite a new job. I’m just so so tired!!!

I know I wrote to you when you first posted about your dad. My dad died suddenly when he was 53 and my mum died almost 6 months ago, again very suddenly and a huge shock.
I intended to return to work the day after mums funeral but on the day I had a complete breakdown. I went to my GP and got signed off for 4 weeks. In the end I was signed off for a total of 12 weeks. I then went back to work very slowly building up from 8 hours a week over the next 2 months. I am just resuming full time 40 hours per week, from this week, 6 months since mum died.
Without the time off and then a very slow phased return to work, i would not be capable now of being an asset to my organisation.
You take whatever time you need off. What has happened to you is life changing. When you are ready, push for a phased return and get your GP to write their recommendations in your fit note.
Although still completely devastated at losing my mum and becoming an adult orphan, I am now fit for work and so relieved that this aspect of my life is ‘normal’ even though nothing else will ever be normal again x

Sorry for your loss.

Like you, my Dad died suddenly five weeks ago and I’m a complete mess. My dad was my best friend, he was only 64. I’m only 27 and in the middle of a masters course in Counselling. I’ve taken the rest of the year off because I can’t stop uncontrollably shaking at random moments, panic attacks, intense anxiety, despair, tummy upset also. I can’t even bare being in public around people.
Don’t feel bad. Now is the one time in your life you shouldn’t feel guilty for being a little selfish. Like above, I’ve accepted this is the biggest thing I am ever going to go through (I’ve been through some shit) and I’m being kind to myself for the first time ever. Do you.


Don’t feel bad about not going to work…mental Health is so much more important, as is healing yourself. People often don’t understand until it has happened to them, people think After the funeral your ok now, your talking and smiling normally, your ok now. But we know that isn’t the case

My mum died very suddenly 9 months ago, I went back to work 3 days after she died and then again straight after the funeral - not because I wanted to but 1. Because I don’t get sick pay and I really need money and 2. Because it was kind of expected of me as a manager, now, people think because I returned so soon, because I look “ok” that I am fine. The truth is, I hate hearing people at work talk about Christmas, I get so jealous of people who say they are going their mums etc over the festive period, the other day someone started playing Xmas songs and I literally wanted to go on their room and smash the radio :joy:
Today is my first day off since it all happened and I’m actually lost? Normally on days off I would go up my mums or take her out somewhere, yet I’ve found myself in bed watching crap tv with nothing to do, I actually think I’d prefer to be at work!

Basically…what I am trying to say is, grief is such a personal journey so don’t think you HAVE to do something because that’s what’s expected of you, all you have to do is what’s best for you. Can you not do a phase to return work and start off with a couple of days a week?

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Thanks for responding C1971. I had a feeling I would end up struggling down the line when I was going back to work so quickly. I felt I had no choice but to go back though and for weeks I actually felt nothing. As in, I felt “over it” to an extent. Then bam I was crying as if his death had just happened. Work aren’t too happy about me having to take some further time to get my head together but I’m scared if I go in, I’ll do the same and fall apart again.

I’m sorry about your mum. Losing your mum is really the hardest cross to bear x

Work will be even more unhappy if you have a complete breakdown and require the next 6 months off.
You and your health are the most important thing here. I’m nowhere near come to terms with the sudden loss of my mum but because I took those 12 weeks off and then increased my hours slowly I’m now in a position to undertake full duties and give my all. Ive somehow managed to compartmentalise everything so I’m able to work. If u hadnt taken time off to heal I think I may be in some sort of institution now!
Just get that support off your doctor, and your work will have to support you. I almost wrote my fit note fir my GP because I knew how difficult work can be. As if happens I’ve got nothing but praise for the support my work have given me and I do accept not everyone gets this.
There are days that I still cant believe what happened and I wonder what mum is up to whilst I’m at work. Then I remember.
It’s a long, hard journey.
Cheryl x

Thanks Watt92. It’s just hard to put myself first. It feels unnatural to me as I’ve always worked so hard. I also feel ok most of the time so I’m not sure why I lost it so much!

I’m sorry for the loss of your dad. It sounds like it is starting to hit you now. My mum died on26th August. I work with children with behaviour problems. I have pretty much lost the agency work as I have had so much time off. They have said to review with them in January. But I don’t think I will ever do that job again. Everything I need to be to work with these children has been lost in me and I can’t do it anymore.

Anyway. I think you need to be honest with your employers and talk to your dr. If you push yourself now. It will come out at some point down the line

Hi all the advice you have been given is spot on but we all have to face these sad times in our own way. I have a friend who has gone down the exact road as you. He coped well with the death of his Mum, better than his siblings. He dealt with all the paperwork etc and told me he felt nothings inside him throughout all this time. He literally had no feelings one way or the other and then it hit him months later and he is now having to get help. Perhaps it’s delayed action of some sort. For me when I have lost a close relative (Mum and Dad) I have clung to my work it has been my salvation. When my dad passed away suddenly I never had any time off except for the funeral, yet I was heartbroken. But in those days having time off for a death was not acceptable. When I lost Brian a year ago I threw myself into all the sorting, paperwork, loft and shed clearance, decorating. We have allotments and I ordered tons of Muck and was working hard spreading it. When I eased off four months later that is when I went under. I had literally burnt myself out. I now pace myself. a bit more but still like to keep occupied So we are all different and you must do what you feel ready to cope with.
Good luck

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Hi there. I lost my mum 10 years ago after 13 years of her living in a home with dementia, and my dad died suddenly 9 months ago.

You’ve already had great advice. I do wish I’d found this forum ages ago because it would have helped me feel more normal over the past year. I’ve been really suffering with bouts of anxiety and depression but now it’s more sadness than depression I think. I still wake up with hot flashes but as I’m also going through the menopause I can’t tell what’s causing the anxiety and hot flushes as it could be either! :joy:

The last week I have been away from my family and home working and I usually have a lot more time to myself when that happens. I have found that having too much time off i end up over obsessing about things, but equally I didn’t rush back to work and I was lucky I could just phase it in a bit. This week has actually been both very emotional (lots of crying by myself in my room) and also brilliant (feeling more normal than I have in ages). I’m learning to accept that I’m going to be a bit up and down at the moment and try to not worry about that.

When mum passed I didn’t take any time to grieve because I had two young kids and the pressure of work. I even went to work the day she died because we had been expecting it, and to be honest it was a relief as she had no quality of life. I was so scared of my work thinking I was not capable and replacing me (I’m freelance and a performer) that I toughed it out. However I don’t think that it’s healthy, and I think it’s all coming out now I’m grieving dad.

I think it’s great people are starting to talk more about grief and getting counselling (which I am getting and it’s been really helpful). There are also lots of books out there which can help. Above all self care and putting your mental health first is the best advice. Things will get easier. X

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My mum passed last July and I had 5 weeks off when she was in hospital until after the funeral. Like you I went back to work , got on with life and thought I was doing ok. Then in the new year I went to work as normal, at around 11am something just flipped in my head and I was a crying mess. The doctor signed me off for 2 weeks. I feel loads better now but conscious grief can hit at anytime. I’m waiting for councelling and started yoga. So dont worry . I think it must be quite normal. Hope you start feeling better soon. Xx

My dear husband of 59 years passed quite suddenly really, I knew that he wasn’t well but I never expected him to die. My family and friends said I was doing very well, last Friday it hit me 6 months on, I felt so ill with grief and the pain was very intense. Nothing to do with Valentines day. for years we had ignored this particular day. The day after, I was back to the dull ache which has never left me since the day he died. We never know when this agony is going to hit us, Jonathan gave us good advice when he suggested that during the agonising time to go with it. x x

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