Time Frame > Newly Widowed (1 day to 6 months)

For those that work how long were you out

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I was wondering how long you were out of work after your spouse passed?  I am dreading to go back physically in the office as I know everyone will come to see me and ask questions.   I have been out almost two weeks.  My supervisor told me to take the time but I know eventually I will have to go back.  I was thinking of initially going back part time with working from home initially.

Hi, Carrie,

I'm so sorry you lost your beloved husband.  I took 6 weeks off after my first husband died.  I was quite exhausted from taking care of him and living in the ICU and I really needed the break both physically and emotionally.  Going back to work, however, gave me structure and purpose and something to think about besides myself.  My direct supervisor was a friend and I met with her before coming back to work.  I asked if she would talk to staff about going on with normal conversation and NOT asking me how I was doing. (Ummm...not good, so that can be awkward.)  For the most part, people respected my request.

I had left my career after meeting my second husband and I was back in school chasing more degrees when my second husband died.  I was back in my seat 11 days after his death when the new semester began.  Again, I found that I needed structure and purpose and a reason to put one foot in front of the other.  My husband had been a well loved and respected professor at the university, and I took the initiative to give people permission to talk about him with me and each other, and that made for a very supportive environment.

If you can afford to give yourself some time off and you want to do this...then do it.  I imagine you don't quite know what you want to do...and that is pretty normal, too.  I think this is a very individual decision, and if you can, listen to your gut and take care of yourself.



Very sorry for your loss.  I took 3 months off and went back part time.  I had to move house and towns so I too some extra time to get settled.
It was almost a year before I went back to full time work.  Put a strain on my finances but it was worth it.

Thanks Maureen and jgib.  I have a coworker that lost her husband suddenly 17 years ago but her boss I think made her come back after two weeks and he was the type to expect you to be physically in her office.  Mike was in and out of two different  hospital for the last 6 months and was in ICU the last nine days. He had a heart transplant at the Cleveland Clinic 20 years ago.

My situation has been a little different. I went back to work for my outside clients at 3 weeks after, but I also work from home and part time for them. We had a family business as well and I could not let it go by the wayside, so I was handling some of those things all along, which was not easy.

I am glad to be able to do all of this from home though, so if I feel like there is a day I can’t handle the outside world or people, I have the option to be home under the blankets and feeling however I need to feel that day.


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