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I've been out of work for about 3 weeks now. Today is day 13 without my soulmate/best friend. I'm doing good just to get out of bed and get thru the day. I cry everyday and have no energy. I eat and stay hydrated because I have to. 

I have a job offer but I don't know if I'm ready to get back at it. I don't know if I can get thru the days without crying all day. I can imagine that wouldn't be beneficial to my job and the Administrator would tire of me grieving. 

I live with my elderly parents and will have to eventually find work, so how quickly did those of you who lost their sweethearts get back at it? Working from home is not an option unfortunately. 

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That’s a tough one, Missy.  Many of us are retired and didn’t have to think about that.  Financial needs do become paramount, but new jobs are way up there on the stress scale too.  Being barely 2 weeks, it’s a hell of a thing to have to deal with.  I don’t know your financial situation, but I think if it were me I would definitely hold off as long as I could without getting too dangerously close to being broke.  I’ve taken for granted my retirement.  We’ve had other widows with children to care for and I’ve read about the enormous struggle.  I leave this in the hands of our younger members for their experience and opinion.  I do understand the getting up being more than enough for one day.  I don’t think I could concentrate on work tasks.  I know others reach a point they are glad they have work for the interaction, but it’s usually going back to a familiar job and people that know you are grieving.

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Since I am of working age, I can speak to this: it wasn't easy.  I was lucky enough that my employer didn't object when I said flat-out that I was taking 2 weeks off after Mark passed, and wouldn't be back until a certain date, and to cancel everything and excuse me from required meetings.  No one stopped me.  It may be that my workplace involves mental health, or else they value me that much.  I really don't know.  This freedom isn't the case for many folks in the workforce and I am well aware how fortunate I am for this.  When i did go back, I was able to compartmentalize long enough when working that I could function, but once I was away from other people, it wasn't unusual to bawl in the car or more quietly in the restroom.  It's just hard to stop the flood of flashbacks, recall, memories, regrets, etc and the aching void that always threatens to swallow you in those early days.

Everyone is different.  I'm a guy so it's a little easier to be stoic, maybe.  Can you ask to work a half-day and see how it goes?

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I would have to start all over with a new job, and being a Nurse, I would have to be "present" at all times. My anxiety level is out the roof and I cry most of the day. Flashbacks from the hospital haunt me and I feel sick all the time. Two weeks today...

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Missy, I feel for you.  I was 52 when George died and our income had just cut in half.  We were fighting with the life insurance company because they way overcharged us their quote, so they did not cover his death.  I had $120 in the bank and medical/hospital/ambulance bills pouring in, in the thousands!  I had to work, no choice.  My boss told me to take as much time off as I needed and he'd cover it, that is how wonderful he was, but of course I felt pressure to return because I knew it was a super hardship for him as he tried to do my job AND his.  I was back at the job full time in two weeks.  I came in on day five to do payroll.  It was hard to focus, my anxiety was through the roof.  Knowing what I know now, I feel I should have accepted help from my doctor for sleeping and anxiety.  I had a hard time eating at first and edema set in dangerously.  My daughter followed me around with food and water.  

When I did go back to work, I was not the same as the "pre-loss" employee I had been.  I don't feel my brain ever returned 100% to what it was before, it was that traumatic.  I asked my boss too monitor my work for a while as perfection was required with my job (Everything had to be to Mil-Spec).  My boss had someone who had experienced loss of their young child speak to the employees about what to expect and how to support me, prior to my return.  They were all wonderful!  Unfortunately the company went out of business, start of the recession.  My next job was completely the opposite. :(  It sounds like your job would be harder to return to than mine was.  It's so important to have a place/boss that is understanding and knows how to deal with grief, what YOU are dealing with.
https://modernloss.com/game-planning-grief/
https://americanhospice.org/the-bereaved-employee-returning-to-work/
https://griefcompass.com/work-grief-balance
https://hospicefoundation.org/HFA-Products/Returning-to-Work-After-a-Loss

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7 hours ago, Missy1965 said:

I would have to start all over with a new job, and being a Nurse, I would have to be "present" at all times. My anxiety level is out the roof and I cry most of the day. Flashbacks from the hospital haunt me and I feel sick all the time. Two weeks today...

I’m so sorry, Missy.  Being a nurse you would have to be totally there as you have such responsibility.  I see how this would be very difficult.   It’s a double whammy to be in a hospital having lost a loved one and witness to others suffering.  Even non life threatening things are going to keep that medical trigger firing.  

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Gwen is right, it would be triggering all the time.  Does your employer have an Employee Assistance Program or somebody who handles employee leaves of absence, bereavement leave, etc etc.?

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Missy said she doesn’t have a job right now so access to these options are not available.  That’s why it’s so sticky both mentally and financially.  Sorry, Missy, didn’t mean to speak for you but that might have been missed as I know Kieron is doing his best to help as he always does.

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Dear Missy,  I have been there and know how awful it is.  I couldn't even drive for about a week after my husband died.  My mind was so suppressed, I would have been driving like a drunk driver, not even knowing where I was going.

Most people take at LEAST two weeks off of work, but really, much more is necessary.  If I was you, I would take off all the time I felt I needed even if it meant losing my present job.  Your healing is necessary and it would be very very difficult to do that when you're trying to work full time too.
And to be a nurse while your mind is in a whirl like that, I think, would be very unsafe and maybe even irresponsible.  
Your employer should recognize that you are in no condition right now to give good health care.  You might administer the wrong meds or amounts of meds.  
I seriously would take a medical leave or whatever you want to call it, to heal and to grieve your terrible loss!

God bless you!!  I will pray for you.

 

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10 hours ago, Dawn G said:

I seriously would take a medical leave or whatever you want to call it, to heal and to grieve your terrible loss!

She is not working...she needs a job, hence there ARE no "bereavement benefits."  Many of us can't afford not to work.

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I'm doing worse. Feeling suicidal today. The pain is unbearable. Still blaming myself and have so much guilt. I can't eat and the anxiety is horrible. I just want to be free from this horrible pain. 

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I wish there were some magic that could free you from the guilt you carry.  We can only keep telling you it’s not your fault.  It has to come from within and knowing you did the best you could with the knowledge you had.  I don’t know what that is going to take for you.  Have you considered reaching out for counseling or calling a hotline to talk with someone?  Trying to do this alone seems to be getting worse.  We all need help.  There’s no shame in it and often 'confessing' we find it isn’t really guilt at all.  Maybe regrets (we all have them), but more often normal grief reactions.  That doesn’t mean they aren’t valid, but might help clear the path to dealing with the core  issue, you lost the love of your life.  That is huge!   I hope you’ll reach out more.  It may not help, but it truly won’t hurt.  

I have a grief counselor but once called a hotline that helped.  Someone to listen and I could share as little or as much as I wanted.  Could cry with someone just to  hear me.

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Missy, my husband was an alcoholic, too. He didn't die from alcohol or related issues. He had lung cancer. (You can't smoke two packs a day for forty years and not expect to see something like that.)

I had come to grips with his addiction, and the fact that I had no control over it, long before he passed away. 

I was not perfect, and I did things that hurt his feelings, and added stress to our marriage. I can't change the past. I CAN remember the things that hurt his feelings, and not say those sorts of things to my current partner. I CAN remember my deceased mother's calm, kind, thoughtful demeanor, and channel that rather than my own habitual sarcasm. 

I would suggest you may benefit from a forum dedicated to family and friends of alcoholics. Here is a link:  

ttps://www.soberrecovery.com/forums/friends-family-alcoholics/

My husband never tried to quit drinking, at least not that I know of. When I expressed my sadness and bitterness that he never even *tried* another member of the forum wrote, "he couldn't."  So true. At some point, he no longer had a choice.

 

 

 

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While I know nothing may make you feel better today, try to hang on for the day things lift a bit, enough to find a smile, enough to enjoy a moment...those things make it more bearable.  Understand it may be a while but most of us get there eventually.  These times just make it all the harder, social isolation is not helping.:wub:

And do call when you are feeling it:  Suicide Hotline - Call 1-800-273-8255

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Thank you Kieron, I've added that contact into my Tips article.

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From our community guidelines page, About Grief Healing Discussion Groups:

What if you are in crisis?

The site is not intended for individuals who are in crisis and actively contemplating suicide.  If you're thinking of suicide, read this first.  If you are experiencing serious suicidal thoughts that you cannot control, please stop now and telephone 911 or call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline1-800-273-TALK (8255). Using your smart phone, contact the Crisis Text Line by texting HOME to 741741. In the UK the Samaritans can be contacted on 116 123. The crisis support service Lifeline in Australia is 13 11 14. The International Association for Suicide Prevention maintains a database of crisis centers throughout the world. Other international suicide helplines can be found at Befrienders Worldwide.

If you or someone you know is grieving the loss of a loved one who died while serving in our Armed Forces or as a result of his or her service, TAPS is available 24/7/365 for counseling, support, and resources. Call the National Military Survivor Helpline, 1-800-959-TAPS (8277) or use the Contact Form.

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