Returning to work

My Mum sadly passed away 7 weeks ago. Although she had been poorly for a while it wasn’t expected and has devastated us. We are still in shock I think.

We were extremely close and I’ll always regard her as one of my best friends.

I finished work on the Friday and Mum passed away on the Monday.

I’m due back to work next week but am really worried as I just don’t feel I am up to doing my job properly.

Has anyone else felt like they lost their confidence returning to work. I just don’t feel anything like the person I was. I still cry lots especially in the mornings.



Hello @Poppy8,

I’m so sorry about your mum. It’s understandable you’re still in shock - seven weeks is not a long time at all.

I’m sure someone will be along to share their thoughts, but I wanted to share our returning to work page with you. It has some tips on going back to work, and how it might feel.

I can see you’re new so I really hope you find the community to be a support to you, too.

Take good care,

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Hi and I’m so sorry. I’ve lost both my parents (dad most recently) and it isn’t unusual to feel that way about work. The insecurity isn’t strange either, you’ve lost your safety net. :heart: Could you do a phased return, to ease into it? Or maybe it is too soon to return, so it’s something you need to talk to your GP about? Sending hugs!

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Hi im so sorry you are going through this.
I did a phased return back to work, i found it helped take my mind off things but i was also exhausted and i only work till one .
Go back when it feels right, i was off 7 weeks , but really i should of been off longer.
Take care xxx

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And yes my confidence has really been affected and my anxiety is through the roof at times.
Im putting it down to everything ive been through xx

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Thank you for your comments.

I’ll discuss with my boss and be totally honest how I am feeling. Hopefully I can go back on phased return which may help me.



So sorry for your losses. I lost dad 7 weeks ago suddenly. Mum 9 weeks before that.

I went back to work 2 weeks after Dad passed. I was so anxious and worried. What helped was telling my boss how I felt and that I wasn’t just going to just bounce back. I texted her the day before and said I was anxious and she was lovely. On the day I chatted to a colleague as they did a check in (my boss was on leave). The anticipation was harder than the actual return.

I’ve found days exhusting when I didn’t used to and the first week was hardest.

However, being back and having something to focus on has been really helpful for me. I needed to have something other than death to talk about and I felt a smidgen of happiness when I was able to help someone else the other day. It’s helped me and my brothers because you have structure to your day.

My advice:

  • tell your boss how you feel
  • clear your work diary in the first couple of weeks / ask for lighter duties
  • ask for some phasing if needed or more breaks during the day
  • have regular check ins with your boss. Be honest how it’s going
  • make sure you take your lunch and have a walk if you can
  • take a moment if you need to cry. People will understand

You’ll have better days than others. I came home the other day in floods of tears and overwhelmed. But the next day was a better day. I have to remember I’m not the same person anymore.

The thing I have to watch is i have zero tolerance for people being silly or full of ego. I warned my boss I may upset someone as I refuse to tip toe around.

Good luck. Wishing you strength.


Great advice. I’m going back in 2 weeks when my sick note ends but on reduced hours
Thanks for that

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