THE HEARTBREAKING JOURNEY OF RETURNING TO THE WORKPLACE AFTER THE DEATH OF A CHILD
~ by Angela Thomas-Jones
Losing a child is a horrendous, life changing experience and returning to the workplace soon after is something that could be considered an enormous task.
Returning to work after the death of a child is a heartbreaking and traumatic experience. The loss of a young or grown child affects a family in certain ways. It is difficult to inform family let alone work colleagues and strangers of the loss that has just happened to your family.
The loss of a newborn, miscarried or stillborn baby has different and lasting affects. The mother does not only have to deal with the loss of a child and all the plans that she had for its future, but she also has to deal with telling people of her loss while still physically showing signs of her pregnancy. So how can you deal with this situation?
- Take a few days and decide whether you want to tell people straight away or whether you want to wait a while
- When you are ready to tell people at work of your loss start by choosing a communication device. I found that email worked well, because you can tell a large amount of people in one hit and you only have to write the story out once
- If you don’t feel that you can do it yourself find a trustworthy work friend, who can answer the questions for you. Tell them as much (or as little) as you would like people to know and let them know which people you want to be told
- Be honest with people. If they ask you about your pregnancy you have every right to tell them the truth. Don’t ever feel ashamed of what has happened, especially if people are being nosey – a side effect of being pregnant
- Look after and protect yourself. While you may want to tell people straight away, don’t forget to take the time to grieve your loss. A miscarriage through to a full-grown child were all once the same size.
- Take the time to mourn, but find your own way to deal with it
- Go back to work at your own pace, which may be full or part time. Do what you feel like. It’s your work life!