Jump to content

Young Widow Forum

Register to view blogs.

Recommended Posts

I went back to work right before a month after my DH died.  I think it was too soon, and 6 weeks probably would have been better.  Now it is 2 months after he has passed and I am still having significant trouble being on time and focusing, although my performance is solid and I don't cry at work.  Work has lost their patience.  That being said, it's time for a change anyway.  I'm thinking about trying to take off a month after I quit this job.  There is still so much to do as far as closing accounts and such.  Also,  I am still SO sad, I often stay in bed all day on the weekends.  When did YOU go back to work? Were you on time, were there problems? They should have widow leave, just like maternity leave.  I really feel this is THAT life changing.  Sigh...

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

Hi, beanless,

 

I was able to take several weeks off from work after my first husband died under the Family and Medical Leave Act. My doctor was willing to complete the documentation with some kind of vague mental health diagnosis, if I remember correctly. My employer bought it and I felt protected - I kept my benefits while I pulled my exhausted self together. I didn’t find a lot of sympathy once I returned to work, but I did take advantage of flex time to align some of my hours for when there were fewer other employees in the office. A year later, I ended up in what turned out to be a career change. I lost my tolerance for people who didn’t care (I will admit that I didn’t know what their pain could be) but I worked in health care and and I didn’t want to be a part of a team of people who didn’t give patient care the attention it deserved. 

 

I wish that that people could understand widow brain. I also wish my challenges were better than they are. I’m a list maker. I overthink everything. I wish I had my former level of confidence. I’m still a work in progress!

 

Maureen

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

If you can take some time off, I recommend that you do.  I took ONE week after my husband died so that my benefits/salary wouldn't lapse and I paid dearly for it later on in I guess what I would call delayed grief.  If you can give yourself the gift of some time now, I would take it.  

Share this post


Link to post

If I remember correctly, I think I went back about 10 days after my wife died. It was good to get back into some sort of routine, even though I'm sure my work was subpar. The boss was very cool about it all and went out of his way to ignore slip ups. I traveled out of state five days a week before her death so, changes had to be made quickly so that I could remain local to take care of the kids. I really didn't have any issues with the folks at work other than that listed below.

 

I did the things needed, closing accounts, numerous phone calls, etc. from work or a quick dash out. They were fine with it. But, some days I'm sure I just sat there for eight hours staring at the monitor.

 

For me maybe the worst part of it was my workmates coming over and boohooing. I worked in a building with over 10,000 people in it at the time and hundreds of co-workers had heard the news. Many visited and if they were upset, I got upset.

 

Good luck,

 

Mike

Edited by Portside

Share this post


Link to post

Mike's post made me rethink mine:  I am an educator and looking back, I was in no shape to be responsible for a classroom or to be shepherding the students in my charge.  I, too, got through it but they deserved a lot more from me.  Had I had a different kind of job, maybe it wouldn't have mattered as much but I regret that I couldn't give them my best at the time.  

Share this post


Link to post

Thank you all.  I used FMLA to care for DH before he died and I am in health care as well.  I appreciate the replies and input.  They are not letting me flex my time (although the rest of the team can and I used to be able to).  I think you've helped me feel better about my decision to leave, hopefully I can take a month off, and find something else in my field.  

Share this post


Link to post

I’m in biotechnology. I took 3 weeks before going back. I needed to make sure the kids were okay and I wanted to ease them back to school. I have my own office with a door so when it was hard I could work and cry in peace with my door shut and a polite note not to bother me unless necessary. I have flexibility being an only parent so it helped going back and not completely hating it. 

Share this post


Link to post

My work only had a 3 day grief leave!!! But my boss stepped up and said to take longer as I needed and I could work from home as I needed. I went back to work after 2 weeks as I found focusing on something else besides obsession about my husband's sudden death (and I was obsessing) helped. I too needed the pay to keep up with the mortgage etc. I was very lucky too to have my mum temporarily move in and help with my baby son (at the time). I am in a research job, however, and I did find that even weeks after I went back, I would break down and cry at my desk and end up in the bathroom. I was able to juggle because I do a lot of solitude work in research - if I was in a different job of working with the public all day etc., I would have needed a longer leave than 2 weeks. As long as you can afford it, I would take some well deserved time off (to grieve, sort out stuff) and go back to your job (or a new job) after several weeks. I think grief leave needs to change (like you said, more in line with maternity leave) !!

Share this post


Link to post

I went back too soon.  It was 2 weeks. I got bereavement of the day he died and then the funeral as it was Friday and then Monday.  My child only took one day off. The school secretary (knew for years) and principal came to the house that morning and asked to take him to school, and he wanted to go.  He wanted normalcy, I guess. I went to his school the Wed. after the Monday funeral, and I sat with him in my lap and told the students in his class about his dad dying.  They asked questions, told of their own experiences.  This was so my son didn't have to deal with more questions.  I am thankful for my ability to pull that off.

 

Work... I do trauma work with kids.  My first day back, my office scheduled me full throttle!!!  And then I had a follow up from a client not seen in a few months.  I had seen her once, and it was teen issues.  Well, the father heard about my husband's death, and brought her back in to see me as her mom had died 2 months earlier. He thought I could help her, then.  I quickly referred to another therapist.  

 

I really needed more time, but felt I needed the money, insurance,  and didn't want to use all my leave up. I hope I was not harmful to anyone. I can't say I was helpful, though.  

Share this post


Link to post

My wife passed in October and I plan on being a stay at home Dad until the Fall. I know my girls need the stability but I put grad school on hold when my wife was put on hospice.  I am planning on becoming a therapist so I need this time to get my head as straight as possible before I start my internship. 

Share this post


Link to post

I went to work 3 weeks after her death.   Work is very supportive and my boss allows me to leave during the day if I need to.  I enjoy my job and colleagues so it helps me.

 

I have had a few tough days where I feel like I am not productive, but that is ok.  Sometimes showing up is good enough.

 

From what I read, grief can take months and years.  I don't think me staying home any longer would have helped.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.