The 3T Career Blog

Returning to Work after a Major Life Event: Loss & Grief

career grief major life events work trauma Jan 04, 2024
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Please note that this blog may cause a trigger for some as it talks about loss and grief.

As I sit down to recount my journey back to work following the heart-wrenching experience of stillbirth, I'm reminded of the intricate balance between personal grief and professional responsibilities. The journey was an emotionally turbulent one, marked by immense loss and the daunting task of reintegrating into the workplace while navigating the questions and concerns of my colleagues.

The days following the loss of my child were cloaked in a surreal haze, where the world seemed to move at an unfamiliar pace. Returning to work felt like a heavy burden, where the usual routine was now burdened with the weight of grief and unanswered questions.

Communicating my experience to colleagues was one of the initial challenges. How could I articulate the depth of sorrow and the myriad of emotions that engulfed me? The fear of facing well-intentioned but probing questions added another layer of anxiety to an already overwhelming situation.

At first, I grappled with the idea of returning to work. I was also longing for normalcy, a desire to find comfort in the routine, and perhaps an aspect of distraction from the raw pain of loss.

My first days back were an intricate dance between personal healing and professional obligation. My colleagues offered support and allowed me to return to my Project Management duties. Their unspoken empathy spoke volumes, providing a refuge during a bustling workplace.

 I learned to set boundaries gently, sharing what I felt comfortable with and kindly steering away from topics that were too raw or personal. Returning to work after such a profound loss was marked by small victories and daily struggles. Each day was a step forward, a testament to resilience in adversity.

Navigating grief in a professional setting is a deeply personal journey. I learned to prioritize self-care, seeking solace in quiet moments during breaks and gradually allowing myself to ease back into my professional responsibilities.

In hindsight, the journey taught me the importance of patience with myself and others. It emphasized the significance of open communication, setting boundaries, and seeking support from understanding colleagues and, when necessary, professional counseling.

The return to work was a challenging transition by any means. Still, it was a testament to the human spirit's resilience. It was a journey that taught me the power of compassion, both in giving and receiving, and the importance of allowing oneself the grace to heal at their own pace.

How did you manage to get back into work after a significant life event or trauma?

With Authenticity & Love, 
MJ (Mahjooba)