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Time off for bereavement

Discussion in 'Personal' started by Thegirlfrommars, Dec 10, 2010.

  1. I know this is a very personal thing but I am always amazed how quickly people come back to work after a close relative has died. This has just happened to me and I can't consider coming back before the funeral, which is a week away. Apart from all the practical things you have to do there is the fact that emotionally it would impossible to do the job properly. I feel it is also disrespectful to the person you have lost.
  2. I had no choice but to go back after a bereavement unless i wanted to use up all my holiday for the year. There was two weeks between the death and funeral.
  3. I'm sorry for your loss, andd hope you're ok, or as ok as you can be.
    Bereavement affects people in different ways, I suppose. Personally, and I mean absolutely no disrespect to those that do, I couldn't even contemplate posting about my loss on an internet forum.
    Everyone deals with loss and grief in their own way, and for some, returning to work might be a way of trying to regain some normality, a diversion. Others need to stay away and hide from the world, unable to function at all.

  4. It was the job that kept me sane. The normal bit of life after the bottom of my world had fallen away.
    Quite how I was disrespectful to my mother, according to your logic, is beyond me.
    We all cope in different ways - my way of coping was to carry on. No matter how much my heart was breaking.
    And I don't for one moment think my mother would think I was disrepecful.
    And aside from that I had two children to look after. What was I supposed to do? Retire to my bed for some mandatory mourning period and let them fend for themselves?

  5. bnm


    It didn't occur to me to take time off when my father died. He died on Saturday, I was at work on Monday and took the Thursday off for his funeral.
    I cried on the way to work every morning for 6 months but couldn't for the life of me imagine what I would do with myself all day if I didn't go to work. Sit and cry?
    Each to their own.
  6. I am sorry if I have upset people by bringing this up. You can get a doctor's note, allowing you have time off with pay. I did not mean to sound critical of people for coming back but I suppose when I said I thought it was disrespectful it was bound to sound critical. It was an observation. This is not going to turn into an exchange of harsh words from me CQ.

  7. tangerinecat

    tangerinecat New commenter

    Exactly what bnm said (except regarding my brother).
    Turned up for work the morning after (in shock, I suspect), luckily my student was on internal suspension all day. I felt I needed to do something other than be by myself.
    Apart from the immediate news and the funeral, I've only ever cried in the car. That's my space, where I am guaranteed to be alone.
    Some people just need to get on with it. Doesn't mean they are feeling any less grief. It's just a different way of coping.
  8. blazer

    blazer Star commenter

    When my dad died (my mom had died some years earlier) I had to make all the arrangments. To be honest I needed one day to run around then went back to work for a few days then another day off for the funeral. If I had taken the interveneing time off I would have just sat around with nothing to do. It is a cliche but also a truism that it helps to keep busy!
  9. Fair enough Blazer but it has taken three days to get everything arranged. I am doing the order of service. This is something I want to do. I spend all year working, I want to devote some time to getting everything right. I really could not teach while i am so upset, that is what I can't understand. I am not walking around sobbing but working with young children would be too stressful for me. Looks like I am on my on here!
  10. Doglover

    Doglover Occasional commenter

    No, you are not on your own at all.
    My MIL died about 4 weeks ago, quite suddenly. She became ill, in the early hours of Tuesday morning, died on Tuesday afternoon, and was buried on Friday - we have funerals much more quickly here in NI. My husband returned to work on Monday morning, because he was able to do that.
    I know however, if it was my mother, I wouldn't be able to return to work (if I actually worked) so quickly.
    I know someone who lot her mother in October, and she still has been unable to return to work. She is a teacher, of younger children.
    I suppose every one does what they feel is best for them to do, and you shouldn't feel forced into an early return to work, because people around you do it. You should take whatever time you need, to come to terms with it, and return when you are ready.
    Everyone grieves in their own way, and they should not feel pressured into conforming to what everyone else expects of them. Good Luck x
  11. Doglover

    Doglover Occasional commenter

    I meant to say also, that you only get the one chance to say goodbye to the person you have lost, and you should take the time to make whatever preparations you want to, to say goodbye in your way.
    If you cannot get enough bereavement leave from your school go and see your GP, who I am sure will be more than understanding in signing you off.
  12. lurk_much

    lurk_much Occasional commenter

    not really, people's reactions are pretty random IME. Thinking that there is a 'normal' way to behave is not much help. You should do what suits you and not bother about what people normally do.
  13. I totally agree with the above. Having lost both parents - mother in 1988 and father in 2008 - grief is a personal, private "journey" that individuals travel through at their own pace.

    I found that the most critical people were, and still are, the ones who still have to embark on this "journey!"

    I citied "bereavement reaction" on my sick lines for both my parents and returned to work when I was ready.
  14. A very close friend/colleauge of mine has just lost her father and has taken 2 weeks off sick, prior to the xmas hols, she feels she needs the time to support her mother and the grieve herself.
    However, this has not made SMT very happy, but who know how they would feel unless they are experiencing it themselves..everyone is different.
  15. I'm sorry for your loss.
    Everyone copes with grief and bereavement differently, for me I feel physically and mentally exhausted and even just getting dressed is difficult. You need to take time to process your grief in your own way and if taking a few days off will help then do it. I'm the same as you in that I couldn't go back to work straight away, my boss is very understanding in matters like this so I'm lucky.
    There is no right or wrong way to deal with this, look after yourself
    take care xxx
  16. Having just read this OP I am quite disgusted by the fact you are suggesting it is disrespectful to the person lost.
    I needed to go back to work for my own sanity. I needed to be around people who would support me during the most unexpected and worst time of my life. The funeral was a considerably long time after her death and I don't think I would have coped with being on my own for that long with nothing to do but hurt.
    I lost someone this year at the start of the summer holidays and the funeral wasn't until the end of the summer holidays. Not being at work nearly sent me insane.
  17. blazer

    blazer Star commenter

    I have to add that I wasn't a teacher at this time but a factory foreman. The guys that worked for me had the good grace to virtually police themselves for a day or two and keep my hassle down to a minimum.
  18. I am still trying to get my head around to the "disreptful" bit.
  19. So am I.
  20. I had a week off with one loss and several with another. In both cases I went back when I could. It is wrong to suggest that any way of being is disrespectful or otherwise. You do what you can do. In my case I do realise that it was a luxury to be off and to be paid as well. Some people, as CQ I think, said, that they need to put food on the table. In hindsight I would have had more than a week off with the first bereavement; I think I just assumed that i would have a week off. Now I know better I would have no problem with people taking more time off, but equally know someone who took only half a day off to organise the clearing of her parents' house.
    Not sure if that makes sense?

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