Returning to work after bereavement

Hi All

I lost my husband 8 weeks ago and my sicknote runs out at the end of the month and was thinking of returning to work to try and get some normality back into my life sort of thing. I was just wondering what other people had done and how long they had waited before returning to work?

I’m home on my own the majority of the time and have been since he passed away, as I don’t really have any family and it can be soul destroying at times and I thought getting back into a routine may help. I welcome your comments and suggestions etc.

Hello, I am so sorry you have lost your husband. In answer to your question, I took just a month off work after my husband passed away and returning to work was the best thing for me. It provided me with some normality and distraction although I was dreading seeing people, colleagues etc. Actually, everyone made it easier for me than I could have ever imagined. Yes, there were hugs and tears, of course there was, after all we wouldn’t want people to ignore our loss. We’re all different in how we cope but honestly, returning to work was good for me. Plus, my man came too as he’s never far away; I carry him around on my shoulder. I hope this helps you make your decision. Good luck with what ever you decide. Let us know how you get on. xx

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I actually bit the bullet so to speak this morning and contacted my manager about returning to work when my sicknote runs out. We have agreed that I can go back on a phased return with reduced hours and days and she has said we can play it by ear, so that’s a good thing.

I’m dreading seeing people and colleagues etc but like you say they are there for you and its nice for someone to acknowledge what has happened, as those around you sometimes tend to tail off after the funeral etc.

Think I need some sort of normality back in my life somewhere…



I’ve recently lost my husband in June I have been off work since March caring for him.
I’ve saw my manager and I’ve agreed to return 1 week today I’ve to go in 2 days this week for a few hours see how I manage I have absolutely no idea how that will go. But I can only try its the dread of returning home and the emptiness the silence my husband will not be home to give me my usual kiss and cuddle


Yeah, I think that’s the worst thing, returning home to an empty house, no how’s your day been, cuddle or a kiss.

My friends took me out on Saturday, had a good day, meal etc but then returning home I was so depressed and upset, the reality of coming back to a quiet, empty house (except for the cat).

In one respect I am looking forward to getting back to work, it might take my mind away from things for a little while when i’m there but then like you say its seeing people etc. Fingers cross for your return to work xx

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I have this fear of getting upset the tears don’t stop it is just uncontrollable
If people ask how iam do they really want to know that inside I’m literally dying completely broken
I will give work my best shot see how it goes
Take care x



Sometimes when people ask and if your having not too bad a day, you just tell them you’re ok - when you’re actually dying inside. Sometimes I think we should actually just tell people how we are feeling and then stand back and look at the shock on their faces as they won’t know what to say!

We can only try with returning to work, and if you aren’t able to cope with it at the minute, will your manager be able to work something out for you at all? I think we are all broken, just try to hide it because of the fear of upsetting people - thats what i’m like with his parents and kids (26 year old kids). You take care xx

Yes she will sort something for me nothing has been or will be a problem it’s what is best for me she said
My daughter works beside me so hopefully that will help a little.
I’ve honestly not gave work a thought just up and see what each day holds x

My husband passed away in April and I am heartbroken without him x I did go back to work phased return 9 weeks after he died and for me, it was the right thing to do ,as I am consuming my day with having to think of other things other than what we are going through x I cry every day but it helps me get through the days x


I lost my husband in December 2019 I was off work
a while afterwards as I work in Retail and we were in
Lockdown. When I went back I felt ready, all my colleagues
and Manager have been really supportive and understanding
Make sure that you feel its right for you, it has been a great
distraction for me as I like to keep busy all the time, good
luck I hope everything goes well.

My husband sadly passed 6 weeks ago I have returned to work also in retail yesterday I was very upset but I know he would want me to return
Like u I cry every day I miss him so so much.

I went back to work after 8 weeks, worked my butt off, listened to people saying i needed normality, i was exhausted but had no time to think & thats when my grieving snuck ip on me,i ended up taking time off & counselling, its normal to have some you time & i think everyone copes differently, so its what feels right for you.


I’ve only returned as the loneliness is awful something I’m not used to
I’m going to give work my best shot I’m trying but hurting badly
I would Always txt hubby from work now I can’t those little things :weary:

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I’m going back in just under 2 weeks just to try and get some normality.

I know what you mean he always used to ring me at work and text me so not sure how I’ll cope with not having that but I can only see what happens. Everyone has been so nice from work so that’s good and I’m going back on a phased return.

Fingers crossed :crossed_fingers:

It’s the hardest thing ever to faced with, watching the love of your life and best friend deteriorate in front of you and it just breaks your heart :heart:Nobody can ever prepare you for this and it’s just trying to get through each day and through each night :heartpulse:Good Luck to you

I totally get the lonliness,im lucky that i have family near by but its strange that no matter how many people you have to support you its still lonely, i dont think anyone undetstands what your going thru unless theyve been there, i never thought councilling was for me but it really helped & it was nice someone telling me to not feel guilty about being off work! I felt as tho i shid b working & i shud be stronger, i gelt guilty that i was sitting in the garden enjoying the sunshine & that is why im having gentle relaxing me time & its not bad its for our mental wellbeing, we sometimes need time out.

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Yes i would always text my hubby at break time & at first thats exactly what i did ( sounds mad) sometimes just having a little bit of humour made me smile (& cry) .my hubby always told me i worked to hard & spent to much time at work, so when i decided to take time off to get my head together i text him telling him i felt bad that i was now taking time off :joy:,

Work, became, and still is my lifeline, I have had to move home, it is so quiet, you do get used to it eventually. Every one is different, but company, is your best allie, my heart goes out to you, 15 months on, it gets bearable,

Hi Iv now gone bk to work after 8months all that time on furlough but it’s bin good for me I think abit if normality the coming home was hard but sorta got ok with that now take care :broken_heart:🥲

Sorry for you loss really I am. I lost my wife if 64 years married back in September 2020. I returned to work in the November having been ask to by my company. Best thing I ever did. Meeting people talking and sharing. Easy ? Not at first but it gets better. Do I miss my wife? Every day. Does it hurt? Some days more than others. But work helps. Do it and do not look back
I am 86 years old, very fit and well and I catch thieves in a well known supermarket. I am a security officer. My wife and I have some great experiences every day I work. Chin up.