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Joely Richardson Goes Back to Work

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How to figure out the right time to go back to work after losing a loved one.

Joely Richardson

It's being reported that Joely Richardson has returned to the London set of her TV remake of "The Day of the Triffids" just days after burying her late sister Natasha Richardson. Family counselor Rosanne Tobey, L.P.C., offers some tips on how one can navigate the process of taking time off work after a death.

Rest 2-3 days after the services. You're physically and emotionally exhausted, and both your body and mind need rest. Then have a candid conversation with your boss; find out your company's bereavement policy and talk about how you could best transition.

Work shorter hours. Ease in with a truncated schedule.

Don't expect to be 100%. Your boss and co-workers know you've been through something major.

Follow your instincts. You never know how long the grieving process will take until you're going through it. Most people are surprised by how grief affects them. If you go back and it feels too soon, take more time off.

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4 comments so far | Post a comment now
Jen March 28, 2009, 7:01 PM

That’s great advice but many places of business will not let you work shorter hours even when someone has passed away in your family.

teresa April 2, 2009, 9:21 AM

Our father just had a massive coronary, and died “15” times, before they could bring him back through de-fib, and stabilize him .. my bros and sis, and his own WIFE have little or no time off from work, allowed, to stay with him at the hosp .. or they won’t get paid .. EMPLOYERS are not kind enough during family tragedies to allow anyone 2-3 days of REST, and getting back to work “gradually” .. not in the real world

Anonymous April 2, 2009, 12:18 PM

No job that I have ever worked would let me take more than 3 days off and that included travel time from Colorado to Ohio. I am lucky that I am a nurse and my coworkers are compassionate and traded days with me so i could travel and attend my fathers funeral. My husband was fired from his job when his dad passed because he took an extra day off after the funeral.

Diane April 2, 2009, 12:28 PM

The advice is great but doesn’t happen in the real world. I was only allowed 3 days when my father passed. I had to travel from Colorado to Ohio, attend the funeral and return. I was gone 6 days with my coworkers covering for me. Thamk goodness I am nurse and work with compassionalte people. They all traded with me to give me the time. Of course my boss didn’t approve because some were put into overtime. My husband was fired ffom his job when his dad died because he took a fourth day off. He couldn’t handle going back to work so soon. Diane.

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