Returning to work after passing away of my mother.. help ple

Hi all

My mum passed away last week with a very short space between diagnosis and her not being here. I have been off for three weeks, one of which was when she was bought home from hospital, then readmitted 2 days later. 

We have been told today we cannot hold her funeral until the 8th April, which has made me feel so anxious because it's like the final thing, and I've been feeling very emotional about even thinking and organising it.

Given it's a month between, I am looking for some advice as to when to go back to work? Should it be before the funeral? Or after? At the moment I spend most of my days feeling utterly exhausted, and just staring at the wall which I know sounds strange but it's true! I feel like if I continue doing this for another month before we finally say goodbye, it may damage my mental health further. Has anyone else felt like this? 

Any advice would be so appreciated. Thank you ️

  • Hi, 

    I think I replied to your post last week, my mum had died three days earlier. I'm sorry to hear that your Mum passed away and I hope she's now at peace and you can start to remember and celebrate what a wonderful woman I'm sure she was. I think going back to work is a personal choice, I went back straight away as I think it's helped my grief, keeping busy and talking about my Mum has helped a lot. We've had to wait for my Mums funeral as well, it's on the 19th, which will be just over three weeks after she died, I don't think I could have not been at work during these three weeks, it has helped me feel a bit normal at times and I know my Mum would want life to carry on. I hope this helps and I'm here to help if you need anything else. 
    Good luck x

  • You did reply to my post, thank you and thank you for replying again! 

    you're right, keeping busy does take your mind off things, and I agree with you, my mum would want life to carry on too. I think I just worry about feeling overwhelmed if I'm having a bad day, but I can't see it doing me any good to sit at home and just think for another month!

    I'm so sorry to hear about your mum, I hope the next few weeks, months are kind to you xx


  • Hi, 

    I am really sorry to hear about your Mum. I lost my Mum 26th January. I am completely devastated and still cannot believe this has happened! We have had to wait a long time for her funeral which is coming up soon Monday 15th March. The delay was due to the cemetery only doing 2 burials a day. 

    I have been signed off work since my Mum passed away as I don't feel ready to return to work. I am a teacher and just do not have the energy to put on a 'happy' act to teach. As much as I love teaching, I now wish I had a job where I could hide away a bit more! 

    My Dad died 10 years ago and I returned to work a week after his funeral and looking back I felt pressured to go back by my headteacher. I would cry driving to work, cry driving home and cry for hours in the evenings and I was so drained. I look back and think I should have taken more time off. 

    My advice would be if you want a distraction and think work might be what you need you could ask your GP to put on your sick note that you would like to do a few hours and build it up over the week/weeks - design it to your needs. Hopefully your work will understand and be sympathetic. 

    Wishing you all the best on this awful journey of grief xx 


  • Hello [@JP7956]‍ 

    I'm so sorry for the loss of your mum, and I'm so sorry the funeral had such a delay, that must be incredibly difficult when it's already one of the most emotionally testing times you can go through. 

    Thank you for sending your advice, I think my head is probably suggesting I should go back, even if it's just a couple of days but my heart feels very differently at the moment unfortunately. I hope it does get easier with time as everyone says.

    Take care of yourself, and lots of love for the future XXX


  • Hey newlife101,

    My condolences. I've lost someone recently too. That was fast also from diagnosis to death. It's hard because it's shocking and overwhelming. But you do get over the shock, then you start the grief process. Those grief stages each take time but it WILL get easier. Of course, a late funeral date doesn't feel stuck in limbo, the thought of your Mom not at rest is unsettling. 

    The month you're waiting, allow yourself to grieve. There are good therapists on betterhelp, it's an affordable app, you can facetime or email your therapist daily if you want. If you want to return to work, maybe ask your boss if you can return part-time because you're struggling with emotions right now. But having a simple daily routine is very important, whatever that is, stick to it. And distract yourself: movies, books, drawing, walks, writing a journal, doing an online class. Anything. 

    Time will feel as if it's passing slowly. Hang in there. The funeral will come and then you'll say goodbye, have closure, move forward. 

    We all die. Whatever time we have, we should live life well. Life is about spending time with loved ones, having good experiences and making the most of everything this planet offers us. If you live your life well, just know your Mom will see and feel that, all that good energy will pass to her. 

    You'll be in better emotional place by late Summer. I promise you. Each week that passes after the funeral, it will get a little bit easier. Trust me. 

    Take care. 
    Be easy on yourself. 

  • Hi

    I watched my mum slowly fade away for 6 months, she had terminal lung cancer when she was diagnosed.  As soon as I found out, I completely went to pieces.  I got myself signed off with stress, my GP and my employer were amazing.  I stayed off sick until after my mums funeral.  Years later my dad was diagnosed with neck & mouth cancer, he was given 4 months to live.  Again i got myself signed off with stress until after the funeral.

    Entirely up to you, but you need to give yourself time to grieve and also to organise things, as you'll want to do all you can, as its the last thing you can ever do for your mum.... please speak to your GP,  your workplace is still there, you need to look after yourself too...

    Take Care

  • Hey [@Janey4]‍ 

    Firstly, I want to say thank you. Your post made me feel a little more optimistic, and a little less heavy hearted than I did before I read it! I found it very comforting. 

    I am fortunate that I have already been in therapy around other things, so I have a bit of a foot forward in that regard and even having the one session between the passing of my mum, and now has helped. 

    I am sorry to hear about your loss, but you sound incredibly strong, and inspirational with your mindset, and I know that will have such a wonderful effect on those around you who are also grieving. It has genuinely opened my eyes as to those who have supported me and not pretended this isn't happening. I have found friends that have not been there for me another thing to cope with, as I wasn't expecting that.

    Wishing you lots of love and luck xx

  • Hey, I just wanted to check in and see how you're doing? As you mentioned the funeral would be sometime this week

    Sending you lots of love and prayers xxxx

  • Hey [@RSxo]‍ 

    Thank you for being super thoughtful and messaging when you have so much going on for you too at the moment.

    How are you coping? 

    My mum's funeral was yesterday. It was a really lovely service and it went well, but I feel like this is just the start now. Above all, Ive been feeling so anxious, I just can't shift the feeling. I think it's because I know now that unfortunately this is not a bad dream, and it is actually happening. I think it's just about trying to take small steps forward for now as best as we can.

    Sending you lots of love, and if I can help you in anyway, let me know xxx

  • Offline in reply to JP7956

    Hello I’ve just lost my mum on 30/4 her funeral was a week later sk everything has felt like a whirlwind and now I have to think about going back to work . I miss mum terribly and I live on my own so it’s quiet a lot if the time. I feel I need a new routine but I just don’t know what to do yet xxx