Unsympathetic Colleagues

Hi All,

I suddenly and completely unexpectedly lost my Mum on 26th January. She’d had a massive heart attack (confirmed by coroner as she had to have a post mortem) and had been gone a good few hours before she was found :cry:

I found out whilst I was at work and took six days off compassionate leave, to get my head round everything.

I am a single Mum with no other support, other than my Mum (who was amazing) and my ex husband (who isn’t my child’s father)

I also work full time in London, but am fortunate enough to work from home two days out of five.

I have a brother who doesn’t work, and doesn’t have children. And who, unfortunately, hasn’t helped one bit.

Dad died unexpectedly by falling down the stairs and breaking his neck three years ago, when I was 8 months pregnant. He was in a coma, and we had to turn off the life support because he wasn’t responding at all.

Mum was my best friend, I talked to her multiple times a day. I am bereft that she’s gone, her funeral is next Tuesday 28th.

She didn’t have a will, so I’ve had to appoint a solicitor, sort out all the paperwork, deal with organising the funeral and speaking to the Celebrant and everything else in between.

Many colleagues haven’t asked how I’m doing, and yesterday I was off sick (I also took 16th March as sick because I am exhausted all the time) I feel like I’m letting my little girl down because I’m so tired all the time from working.

Today I noticed that my supervisor marked me off as a days holiday yesterday and not sick. Is that something that can be done? I clearly told her that I was sick. It wasn’t an error as she’d marked it in two places as holiday.

Do any of you suffer with unsympathetic colleagues at all? I’ve been at the company 20 years and I think it might be time to leave as I feel so unsupported

Thank you for reading.


Hi @Banafell ,

Thank you so much for sharing this with the community :blue_heart: I’m sure someone will be along to offer their support, but I just wanted to let you know that you have been heard and you are not alone.

Take good care,

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@Banafell I’m so sorry for the loss of your lovely Mum💔

In terms of your employer; no, if you have advised them you are off sick, they “cannot” document as holiday days, I would definitely address that; I do understand it’s probably the last thing on your mind, but… do you have a HR Department?

Did you have your “normal” bereavement leave?

However, I do think that the normal UK bereavement leave is a joke, but please do address this, they cannot make you use holiday days, you didn’t request holidays; I’m sure you have a procedure to book holidays!

What a dreadful thing to deal with on top of losing your Mum…

Big hug x❤️


@Banafell my work is the same as you 5 days compassionate leave, what are you mean to do with that. However they did pay me for the weeks I was off up to the funeral. HR actually messaged me the day after my mums funeral to ask if I was up for a back to work chat! I obviously said no then in another message said you will have to take annual leave. I already had appointment booked for doctors and was signed off sick for another 2 weeks.
I am on my own to and had to do everything but was fortunate enough to have friends and family help when I needed it.
Definitely get that sorted, my boss was great it was HR who was the issue. If you need time get signed off and have a bit of time with your daughter and go back when you are ready.
Valda :sparkling_heart:

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Thank you all who have spent the time to respond.

Yes, I had six days compassionate leave, and they’ve given me a further two days the day of the funeral, and the day after. So I am lucky to get over the standard five days, I know that.

I just feel so lonely, and to be honest a little bit bullied. The process for booking holidays is creating a request and then having my supervisor approve. She created it on my behalf and then approved the days holiday. I will address it today, but am feeling very low with Mum’s funeral on Tuesday and I normally shy away from confrontation xx

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Hi, i am so sorry to hear what you are going through. Thats what makes grief even more unbearable, that when we nerd our friends and loved ones the most they are not always there. Your work friends sound like where i used to work. To be honest i think everyone has different hearts, some people are hugely kind and loving with empathy and some people dont meet others at that level. Its really difficult living and carrying such immense pain. I am surviving for my sons and dog since my fiance took his life 8 weeks ago. My sister passed just under 3 years ago of cancer and my mum 10 years ago to cancer. My fiance and i were inseperable and my only comfort is that i won’t have to be on this planet forever. I cant carry this pain forever. My friends have vanished since the funeral. They have no understanding and i feel completely isolated. Please message me privately if you like and we can talk more . Sending love and hugs. Xxx

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Hooe the funeral goes ok . Thats the main thing. Deal with work after that xxx

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My employer allows 1 day paid leave for the funeral and they don’t pay you if you’re off sick. It’s a joke that they can get away with that as I’m pretty sure the ones at the top pay themselves when they’re in this situation.

I haven’t returned to work yet as my mum only passed 2 days ago but when I do return I think I’d rather nobody mention it as I will breakdown if they do.

Everyone is different with how they cope with things. I think generally unless people have been through this they don’t understand how we are feeling. I don’t think I ever did. Although I knew they’d be upset I didn’t imagine for one moment that it would be this bad.

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No you don’t realise how bad its gonna be do you … i cant believe how hard it is still … :frowning: and people dont understand until they been through it do they ;( i am starting to wonder too how much people care either :thinking: sad isnt it the human race … dog eat dog out there :frowning: xx