I am 53, my husband of 20 years passed away suddenly and unexpectedly on 25th October. He was not ill, had no health problems and died in his sleep. I have been off work and am going back on Monday. The HR Team where I work have I feel been pushing for me to get back to the office and I had to have a meeting with Occupational Health Team. I am never off sick, not before this. Occupational Health asked me about my husband. I find this process an absolute intrusion and find the whole HR experience wholly disappointing. Not in a position now to quite my job, so back I go. What is the “usual” timeframe to go back to work? Be interested to hear how I’m comparing to others. Was my 6 weeks too much time?

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I went back to work after 7 weeks, there was no pressure and my employer was very supportive. They even have a employee assistance programme where I could have got counselling. Don’t be pressurised if your not ready, speak to your doctor, mine said he would sign me off longer it I needed it.

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Hello @milly3,

I went back to work 4 weeks after my darling husband passed away suddenly. I felt if I didn’t go back sooner rather than later then I wouldn’t return at all and like you I couldn’t afford to quit. I think the longer you’re off, the harder it becomes to return. Honestly though, it was the best thing for me. Work has been my saviour. It’s some kind of normality in this crazy world we’ve been thrown into and also distraction. We need distraction from our grief otherwise we really would go barmy. My grief, even now, is always there to go home to when my day is finished. Good luck.

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I have chosen to go back to work after 3 weeks I feel what is tge point if me doing nothing all day it will not help me
I have to get better for my family. If I sit in tge house all day I will not get any better.yes it will be hard but im determined to do it.makes tge days pass into weeks then months then years and I have faith time will help


I’ve been off for just over 2 months. My line manager has asked if I’ll speak to occupational health but I’m very reluctant because I don’t want them to say the wrong thing and set me back. I don’t trust them to be sensitive to my situation. I only want to talk to people trained in bereavement. I’ve spoken to the bereavement nurses, organ donation nurses, Samaritans, & Cruse Bereavement.

Not sure where I stand on being allowed to say “no” to occupational health, though.

PS, in another thread, the most common length of time off seemed to be about 3 months, with some longer and some shorter.

Hi I had to speak to occupational health after I was off work for a health issue. I found them incredibly supportive, more so than my manager and very understanding. The first time it was a nurse and the second a doctor. I’m sure they will understand what you’re dealing with and be very sensitive. I hope a little bit of reassurance helps xx

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Oh, really, a nurse and then a doctor. I hadn’t envisaged that. Awww, thank you very much for your response :slight_smile: x

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