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Looking for advice regarding bereavement and sick leave

(15 Posts)
Pinkpenguin89 Sun 07-Jun-15 20:23:29

I hope I'm posting in the right place.

I'm a primary school teacher. Four weeks ago, my dad passed away. It was sudden and unexpected. He wasn't ill. We were very close. He was only 55. To say I'm still in shock and devastated is an understatement.

I took two weeks off work and then it was half term, which made it three weeks. My head teacher was very supportive. I went back to work after half term. I got through three days and then got home and broke down. I had to call in sick for the Thursday and Friday because I could barely get out of bed. Again, head teacher very supportive and understanding. Since then I've been as low as I could possibly imagine. I've barely left the house. Even getting out of bed is a challenge.

So, my head teacher expects me back tomorrow, because I said I would 'try again on Monday'.

I can't face going in. Friends and family and my partner all think I should go back to my doctor and take more time off.

I do feel like I need more time.

But, it's the last half term. There's a lot to do. I don't want to let anyone down. I don't want to let my head teacher down or for her to think I'm taking advantage when she's been so supportive.

Can I ask what people think I should do? What would you do? What would you think of someone in your workplace if they took more time off?

I feel so low. I can't face work but I don't want to let people down.

susiedaisy Sun 07-Jun-15 20:26:26

So sorry for your loss. Must be a terrible shock to have lost him so suddenly hmm

I would go to your gp and get a sick note for a few weeks if it were me, in fact I'm not sure I would even make it back before the end of term.

IdespairIreallydo Sun 07-Jun-15 20:31:00

Condolences on your loss, what a terrible shock.

I think you should try again tomorrow and see how things go. Make a Dr's appt for bereavement advice. As hard as it is, you need to try to keep in touch with the world around you rather than possibly sink into depression - this is where help/advice may be useful.

Good luck, you will feel better in time.

Babymamamama Sun 07-Jun-15 20:36:11

You have my full sympathy. I had a similar situation but unfortunately my work started pressuring me to go back before we'd even had the funeral. I wasn't ready so was signed off by the gp. It gave me the time and head space to grieve and get myself together. I went back after the second week. Take the time you need op. Doing a hard job like teaching isn't easy even when you haven't just had a bereavement.

totallybewildered Sun 07-Jun-15 20:36:59

You are not letting anyone down. You are coping with a situation not of your making and out of your control. You need proper medical advice about how to best look after yourself and start to recover from this terrible shock. You will not be the first bereaved person your head teacher has dealt with, and she will most likely have been bereaved herself at some stage in her life. She will know that different situations affect different people differently, and sometimes more time is needed. if he doesn't know this already, occupational health or you GP will be able to put her straight on this.

Pinkpenguin89 Sun 07-Jun-15 20:58:51

Thank you for the replies so far.

I think that's part of the dilemma I have in my head. I went back to work last week to try to keep some sort of grip on normality but I just couldn't do it. I want to be able to, I really enjoy my job. And I don't want to lose my grip entirely and spiral into a depression. But just putting one foot in front of the other, eating and sleeping is an effort right now.

It makes it a little bit harder that my dad was involved in my school. Only a little bit, he'd only been there twice. But he's walked up the corridor with me, he's been in my classroom (I showed him round and he was so proud), he's been in the staff room and the hall. So I see him everywhere. I don't get a respite from what's happening whilst I'm there if that makes sense.

Pinkpenguin89 Sun 07-Jun-15 21:00:24

My head teacher couldn't be more supportive. When I phoned in on Thursday she said it was ok and it was never going to be smooth ride. I don't want her to think I'm giving up and I don't want to be letting her and the school down.

I have always had issues with not wanting to let people down, which, again, doesn't really help.

GlitzAndGigglesx Sun 07-Jun-15 21:12:08

Take the time off. I had 5 weeks off school following the death of my mum and that didn't feel enough I don't think any amount of time would. It did feel good though once I went back and had the support of friends rather than staying home unable to face the world. I hope things improve for you soon

FabulousFudge Sun 07-Jun-15 23:35:24

I'm sorry for your loss. Could you ask the ahead and governors for some unpaid leave for a couple of weeks?

FabulousFudge Sun 07-Jun-15 23:35:35

The Head*

hollieberrie Mon 08-Jun-15 20:03:48

So sorry for your loss. This exact same thing happened to me this time last year. My mum passed away very suddenly and unexpectedly just after the May half term. I took 3 weeks off - 10 days of compassionate leave granted by my head and the rest sick leave, signed off by the doctor. I then struggled through the last few weeks until July, but ended up getting signed off twice more in the Autumn term as i struggled to cope. I think SLT were a bit surprised but they understood and were fairly supportive.

If you need time off, definitely take it. The children will be fine and the parents supportive - my head told the parents in my class and everyone understood. Like you, my mum had been into school to help me etc and that mae it extra painful. I still cant face our school summer fair this year for the same reason.

Thinking of you flowers

Pinkpenguin89 Mon 08-Jun-15 20:13:01

Thank you everyone for the replies and advice. I went to my doctor and have been signed off for two weeks. Work have been very supportive and I am very grateful.

Hollieberrie - very sorry to hear you have been through similar. I empathise with what you are saying about the summer fair as I am dreading our Christmas fair. My dad had been Father Christmas for the last two years and he loved it. He was so proud and happy to be doing it. So the thought of someone else being Father Christmas makes me want to scream and cry. I hope your work are able to put something in place to make that day as easy as possible for you.

hollieberrie Wed 10-Jun-15 22:03:30

Good to hear Pink, hope the time off helps and glad to hear your work are being supportive.

Oh gosh the Xmas fair will be hard for you, maybe you can skip it this year? I am not going to our Summer one, it'll just be too much. Sending you best wishes. I know there's nothing anyone can really say, but i totally understand, its been an awful time for me and very difficult to deal with. I'm so sorry for the loss of your dad x

echt Fri 12-Jun-15 07:28:44

Penguin, sorry for your loss, and you too, holliberrie. thanks thanks for both of you.

OP, take the time, and get signed off, not unpaid. Also, in case it occurs to you, it's not the kind of stress leave that attracts negative attention in later references, etc. I shouldn't even have to say this, but the present employment situation makes it necessary, unfortunately.

Millais Sat 13-Jun-15 13:00:16

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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