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Going Back To Work After Bereavement

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Published 26/11/2020
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by Kieran Mitchell
When a loved one passes away, it can be difficult to focus on anything else. But eventually, things in your life will start to return to normal. A big part of this will be returning to work. But after something as devastating as the loss of someone dear to you, how can you possibly go back to normality?

In this blog, I will look at going back to work after bereavement and how, while unquestionably challenging at first, it may help you in your efforts to get back to how things once were.

The Bereavement

Many workplaces in the United Kingdom will offer what’s known as ‘compassionate leave’. This is time off – both paid and unpaid – due to the death of someone you were close to, varying in length based on relation. This is necessary to most people, as it is almost unthinkable to continue working as normal after the death of a family member or close friend.

Many people will use this time off as a chance to reflect, both on the person who has passed away and also themselves and how they’re going to move on after such a difficult time.

Time often stands still and it is difficult to imagine things ever being the same, let alone going through routine things such as cooking, exercising or working. However, for most people the urge to return to how things were before will come at some point.

Returning to Work

Going back to work is a big step in returning to normality – I would even argue the biggest. Work is something that takes up a lot of most people’s time, and is a major part of what they would define as ‘normal life.’ When off work whilst grieving, it can be hard to occupy yourself, and to think of anything other than the person that has passed away. Of course this is understandable, but after a point can begin to negatively affect mental health.

Work – particularly if you’re in a job that you’re passionate about – can help to take your mind off the bereavement and focus your energies somewhere else, in turn helping things return to more normality and improve your mental health. Catching up with friends at work, who will all be going out of their way to make sure that you’re as content as you can be given the circumstances, will also help you.

At the moment, for most people there isn’t the luxury of leaving the house and returning to a workplace after a bereavement due to Covid-19. This means that you will often find yourself working from home. However, being able to communicate with work colleagues and focus your mind elsewhere will still – I believe – help you tremendously and hopefully bring some normality back into your life.

Thank you for taking the time to read this blog today, I hope you found it comforting. For more blogs, please visit

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