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Dad- Now Work?


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I am also new, my Dad died taking a nap on Mother's day from a heart attack- no family history of heart disease, no health issues. He was 58 and so my mom is now alone. I'm an only child, so is my mom and my dad's sister is out of the picture. I do have both of my mom's parents and my dad's mom- the youngest is 83, so it seems that evreything is on me. I'm only 26 and my problem is that I am a hospice social worker. I'm actually THE hospital social worker for a 500 pt hospice. I was actually able to deal with Dad's death, its what I do, I just don't know what to do now. Last Wednesday I took a leave of absence from work- I just don't want to deal with other people's problems. I don't mind attending deaths, dead is just a state for me, I just don't know what to do with myself. My mom doesn't feel supportive, she's got to take care of herself, she's attending support groups and has great friends- I can't bring myself to go to a group with people that I don't feel would understand me- I was supposed to go tonight. I am going to yoga, perhaps it will bring me a sense of calm. I'm trying to read a lot and journal, but I'm just lost. I don't really have a support system outside work- my husband bless his heart tries, but he has no idea. Thankfully I have no kids, only 2 dogs and a cat, but that means if I have kids they won't have a grandpa.

Is it ok to have taken leave? Do I need to make myself go back? Not going to work isn't really making me ache any less, but I was starting to have a terrible time mustering up enough emotion to deal with other people's stuff all day and had nothing left for myself. I just need directed by someone who gets it.

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Traci,

First of all, my deepest sympathies. Second, I want to tell you how much I admire people who do the work that you do. Both my mom and dad had Hospice and I couldn't have dealt with either of their deaths without them. I consider you angels.

I think it is not only ok that you took off from work, but very necessary. I can understand your "not wanting to deal with others problems right now" completely! It is strange to go from being busy (especially taking care of ill or dying people) to having all the time in the world! As you said, you don't know what to do with yourself. I've been there many times. All I can tell you is to do whatever feels right at the moment. The Yoga is great. Just try to go with the flow. And give yourself this time to grieve. I know death is a part of your job, but it has to hit differently when it's your father. Your grief may be somewhat delayed because of your job. Take care of yourself. Maybe try doing some things you've wanted to and didn't have time for.

Hugs to you,

Shell

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Traci, I am so sorry about your dad and I agree with Shell...people that work in Hospice are truly angels. Both my mom and dad were in hospice the last week of their lives and for me to see the love and caring that went into their care was just amazing. Of course you need some time off...don't even question it! If you need to sleep, sleep. If you need to go for a power walk...do it. The range of things we need to do for ourselves at the beginning is endless and sometimes doesn't make sense. It's great that you are keeping a journal...I love to write, too.

Take it one step at a time, whatever makes sense for that moment.

Take care...Lori

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Thank you all. It is helpful to hear that I'm not all that unusual. Initially I had some resentment toward patients' families who had hospice but chose to not use the time and instead fought against the inevedable, but that didn't last long thankfully. I'm currently planning to return next Wednesday, a short week to break myself back in.

Thank you-

Traci

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Traci,

First, let me say how sorry I am for your loss. Next, thank God for people like you who do what you do. When my Mom was sick, the hospice group was our life line. I can't say enough about how they helped us. We were on auto pilot. They just told us how to function. You guys are really angels on Earth.

As far as going back to work, I agree with you on taking it slow. Remember to take care of yourself. Don't go on overload. Do only want you feel like you can handle. Grieving takes so much of your strength. Remember we're here for you. God Bless you.

Missing my mom

Trudy

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