Returning to Work
“Going back to work was not too difficult as it gave me something else to think about. The company I was working with at the time of Holly’s death was owned by three caring and compassionate brothers who had seen me travelling Holly’s journey. When I returned to work they showed compassion to me and by their example other staff showed empathy to my situation. This was of great consolation to me.”1
“The timing of it is so wrong. There were instances when we both went back to work, fairly early afterwards, and one of us had coped better that day than the other one. The one that hasn’t coped so well, wanted to talk, dump, whatever, and the other one’s going ‘I had a crappy day at work and I really don’t want to be going through this right now’. It was hard trying not to be resentful and being dragged down. It depended on my mindset. If I was in a supporting mindset - I’m here to help you- I would suck it up and shoulder a bit more of the burden. But really someone just needed to say: “Listen, I just need half an hour to myself and I’ll be better help to support you.”1
“When I get home from work I’m exhausted, I don’t remember being this tired before it happened. For me, when I’m at work, it’s not actually bad. I felt like that work was the one part of my life where he wasn’t, so it was the one part that hadn’t changed, whereas everything else was just completely shot to pieces. That was the one sort of constant: it’s still there, it’s still the same. I’d escape to work and I could be at work and didn’t have to be reminded of all this horrible stuff that had happened. Not that you ever forget. It wasn’t until I got on the train that I would get all sad and teary. I would just get home and be absolutely knackered.”1
“Coping with the stress of work and office politics can take out all your energy, especially when three years on, people have moved on or new people have come in, or there are new bosses, and they don’t know what’s happened. I wouldn’t want to discuss it with them either. The underlying thing is your priorities change a bit and some of the things that might have been important have changed.”1
Last reviewed: 21/1/20
1. Quote from participants of a series of workshops and interviews with bereaved fathers held in 2015 at Red Nose Grief and Loss, Malvern, Victoria, and Red Nose Grief and Loss offices, Australia.