Our Services 
Planning Ahead  
Grief Support  
Obituaries
When In Town
About Us  
Directions
Contact Us

Returning To Work: Part II

by Paul V. Johnson

Dear Paul:

Thank you for your response, Paul. I did go to work today, but only for a few hours. It all became a bit too much. I felt as though I was stepping back in time into a place when things were all right. I have brought work home with me, and will try working from home over the next week, with the intention of building up my concentration levels during that time.

I feel terrible about having to leave work today, and I am unsure exactly how my employer feels about my situation, despite the fact that everyone seemed to be understanding. I intend to return to work next Monday, when a new employee will be starting. I hope to throw myself into training her. I am hoping that this will be a new beginning for me as well.

I feel so much loss and distress that I cannot put it into words properly. Dad and I were very close, and to lose him so suddenly is very distressing. How do I possibly go on leading a normal life now?

Dear Inquirer:

I'm glad that you went back to work today, even if you weren't able to stay for as long as you had hoped. Your situation is not unlike returning to work following surgery and only being physically able to stay and continue working for a limited period of time. You are in need of emotional recovery time, and hopefully your return next week can be a new beginning for you also as you begin training the new employee.

Your final question, "How do I possibly go on leading a normal life now?" opens the door to discussing what lies ahead for you, namely having your life transformed through the grieving process following your Dad's death. From the instant that you knew your Dad had died, normal life for you (as you knew it) ended. And, whether you really believe it or not, you began developing what I call your "new normal" life which no longer includes the physical presence of your Dad. It is obviously quite uncomfortable right now, but someday you will define normal life for you in a way that includes the death of your Dad and it won't have the same degree of pain that you feel right now.

To help you make this transition to a "new normal" through effectively grieving your Dad's death, there are three questions that you must answer over the coming weeks and months. There is no real time table for answering them, and they are not easily answered in just one sitting. Instead they require your thought and concentration on several occasions. Though not lengthy, their answers may be lengthy.


   next»