The Show Must Go On: Getting Back to Work after Losing Someone
Losing someone you love will undoubtedly take you on a roller coaster ride of emotions. You don’t know what to feel anymore, and it’s difficult for you to get back into the swing of things. Chances are you wouldn’t know if you should go back to work or give yourself some more time—or just not work at all.
Guess what? You’re not the only one. There are thousands of people all over the world also debating whether it is right to go back to work after losing their loved ones or not. Bear in mind, however, that the bills will need to be paid and food will need to be put on the table.
So what do you do?
Take Your Time
Don’t ignore and forget what happened. Allow yourself some time to grieve your loss.
Most companies provide bereavement leaves as respect for mourners. If your company does not have such a policy, inquire with your state’s labor department to know what bereavement rights you’re entitled to. If all else fails, use any sickness or vacation leaves if they are available.
Don’t Expect Other People to Share Your
This may seem a bit harsh, but never expect your boss or your co-workers to share the pain with you—no matter how close you are to them. Although most of them might express their sympathy and will be willing to lend an ear, they’re dealing with their own issues in life, too.
If you need someone to talk to, someone who can fully understand you, consider talking to those who share your grief. Lindquist Mortuary and other organizations say support groups are an excellent outlet.
Gradually Transition Back to Work
Expect the barrage of “Are you okay?” and “I’m sorry for your loss” on your first day back at work. This alone can actually make you feel lonelier, and it will be difficult for you to actually do your job, so try to make arrangements with your employer to take half the day off. Ask for time to talk to your co-workers, too. Make the transition gradual and don’t expect to get back to the grind overnight.
Grieving is a full-time job, and working two jobs all at once is difficult. Give yourself time, let go, and move on (but never forget).