Hi Sophpom, I also work in a Health Care Facility, as a Mental Health Counselor. After losing my beloved sister to cancer, I returned to work too soon, and was unsure if I could even function. I was distracted, “drifting off,” and retreating to secluded areas to cry. Most days, I was walking around with swollen eyes and a tear stained face. When my client’s stories were similar to mine, I found myself hurting for them as well as for myself (we call that "Counter Transference in my field). In time, however, I found it therapeutic to be there for them. When some of their life events mirrored mine, my own devastating loss enhanced my ability to be more empathic to their suffering. My boss was not supportive, and expected me to be “over it” in a few months. The clients never knew what happened, only that I was out for 3 weeks, yet they were more sensitive than the so-called professionals. They would ask if I was OK, and express that they sensed I was going through something and hoped I would feel better. This touched me deeply, and reminded me how much I always valued the opportunity to work with those in need.
You are in a position to help others, and like me, you might find strength in all you have to offer those in your care. I know it will take time, and there will be days when you are too depleted by your grief. I hope you have an understanding boss, who (unlike mine) will not expect you to back to top performance in no time.
If you can avoid triggering places on the job, then do so. Be gentle with yourself, and take breaks when you can. I wish you the best as you struggle to adjust. Xxx Sister2