Sick Leave

Hello Everyone, my husband died 18 months ago. He had lung and spine cancer and we knew nothing about it until it was too late. It was all over in a matter of months. Diagnosed in February, died in August same year. I just went back to work and carried on as normal. Until March this year when all the grief came to the surface and I had to go to doctors and was diagnosed with complex grief and borderline PTSD. This she said was all due to not being able to visit my husband in hospital because of covid, at one point I hadn’t seen him for 5 weeks. I have had 2 months off work and heading into the third month. I am trying to help myself, I don’t want to go down the medication route but I am having counselling as just to have someone listening to me really helps
I know that I can have six months off with pay but my employer is now beginning to make things difficult for me but I am not ready to go back yet as I have a long journey into work and I feel anxious at even leaving the house at the moment. Where I work you can have five days compassionate leave after a death and then you have to get doctors certificate. I don’t know how you are meant to get over the death of a loved one in five days. I know his death was over 18 months ago but I was in denial for so long but my employer cannot understand this and thinks I should be over it. I tried to explain I can’t do noise, crowds etc. I work in a very big, busy public library in a city and just not up to facing it all yet. Has anyone else been in similar position?

Hello @Misty2012.
I am so sorry that you are going through this pain at the moment.
My husband died suddenly at the beginning of December (its his inquest tomorrow.
My company also gives 5 days compassionate leave (!) and I had to use my holidays over the Christmas period so I could grieve rather than have to endure the festivities at work - I work with older people and would have to be happy and on the ball all the time.
I returned to work at the start of the new year and have sometimes forced myself to go to work when all I wanted to do was stay home and grieve.
On Monday I decided I needed to show myself some self care and phoned in sick - felt guilty initially but I’ve realised it was for the best. I’m hoping to go back next week but will listen to my mind and body after tomorrow’s verdict and do what is right for me.
If you are entitled to 6 months paid leave then your company has to honour it - speak to your HR department and explain you are feeling pressurised to return. No one can write the guide book for loss and grieving - it is so individual. Let your GP support you
with your employer, especially as you have a diagnosis which needs time and empathy.
Take care and look after yourself. X