The loss of a loved one and the grief that we experience can suddenly bring our normal life to a standstill. However, we are all different and different things move us. 

People have different coping mechanisms, for some, waking up and doing normal things like chores or going to work might seem next to impossible. While for others the death of a loved one is the reason, they throw themselves into work.  

Regardless of how you handle the grief and loss, it’s always useful to know how to get back to doing regular things like going back to work or simply appearing among people.

If you’re curious how to go about this transition without much difficulty, check out our 5 tips for returning to work when grieving.

Take time to grieve and process everything

When we are going through devastating loss emotions are running high and many times returning to normal life will be more than difficult. Grief is a tough process that requires time and acceptance and only after you have worked through all of these you can consider going back to work and among people.

For some people, this will take more time, for others less, it’s all individual. For example, some people will have a tough time coming to terms that the person they lost is not coming back. 

Similarly dealing with the things of the person you lost can be stressful and completely heartbreaking, that’s why people call service specialized in deceased estate cleaning. This service can be very helpful for those who don’t have the heart or strength to get rid of the things of their deceased loved one. 

Ultimately, what you must know is that throwing yourself right back to work without dealing with loss won’t do much help at all.

Going back to work is a transition that should be done gradually

Going back to work should be seen as something positive. However, it should be done slowly and gradually. Talk to your boss about it, ask him if it would be okay to start working half a day the first couple of days until you settle back into the routine. 

These couple of days should be a perfect transition and as the days go on you’ll get more immersed into work and that will take your mind off of all the grief. 

Take breaks and don’t take on more than you can handle

These first days back at work will be really difficult and you’ll see how much trouble you’ll have concentrating on the work at hand. This is why taking breaks when you feel like you need them is important. Take a break, go for a walk, take some air, anything that will clear your mind and put it back where it needs to be.

Similarly, during this time when your pain is still fresh and all these emotions are still present, you shouldn’t take on to much work, or even take on work that you can’t handle. You may think that all that work will be distracting and a perfect solution for your current situation, but you’d be wrong and you’d be certainly biting off more than you can chew. 

Don’t force yourself into taking on more than you can handle or working more than you actually can. It will be counterproductive more than anything.

Don’t expect others to be sympathetic

We live in a world where sympathy is a commodity many people lack, especially those in the business world. So, what you should expect is a couple of ‘I’m sorry’s and ‘my condolences’ the first day back at work and that will be it- that is where all the sympathy ends. 

From there on out, it would be expected from you to keep a lid on your emotions and to act as professionally as you can. 

Don’t expect special treatment 

Apart from those couple of days where you’ll be working half-time, you shouldn’t expect nor demand special treatment. The cutthroat business world doesn’t like those who expect to be treated differently just because they are going through something privately. 

The best way to deal is to keep your private life and your work life separate. Do the best you can at work and then, if you need, let your emotions run wild when you close the doors of your home. That is the best recommendation that we can give!

Losing a loved one can wreak havoc on our lives. It can completely change us and it can make going back to our old life difficult. The same goes for our work life. At first, going back to work and to how things were before will be difficult, but in the end, you will come to terms and you’ll slowly start moving on.


  • Stella is an art historian, traveler, conscious consumer and a proud mother. When she is not trying to improve the things around her (and herself, for that matter), she likes to lose herself in a good book.