Please help, this is complicated.

  1. Hello nurses, I am.looking for some advice. I am in a complicated situation and would like some feedback.

    Here is my situation. I have been at my current job for almost a year, last month my husband of 20+ years died suddenly. Needless to say I am devestated and my whole life is shattered. I have great family and friends who are supportive and have been amazing.

    My new job and all my co-workers have also been so helpful, and I feel so thankful every day for my job.

    I went back to work about a week after he died mostly because I was just overwhelmed at home and it was easier to get to work and deal with other people's issues.
    I have been doing ok at work (better than @home) but am starting to feel guilty when I feel like I am bringing down the fun atmosphere we have always had on our awesome unit.
    I feel bad for the teammates who get paired with me when I don't feel like I am the same nurse I was a month ago.
    Am I being selfish for going to work just to escape my own reality?
    You guys have a way of telling it like it is and I am sure some of you have probably dealt with similar situations with coworkers.
    Do you have any advice?
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  2. 37 Comments

  3. by   Guy in Babyland
    Quote from Cruella de ville
    Needless to say I am devestated and my whole life is shattered.

    I have been doing ok at work (better than @home) but am starting to feel guilty when I feel like I am bringing down the fun atmosphere we have always had on our awesome unit.
    I feel bad for the teammates who get paired with me when I don't feel like I am the same nurse I was a month ago.
    Am I being selfish for going to work just to escape my own reality?
    You guys have a way of telling it like it is and I am sure some of you have probably dealt with similar situations with coworkers.
    Do you have any advice?
    You are not the same nurse you were a month ago. Do you actually think that they are expecting you to be? It has only been a month and it takes time to grieve. How long it takes depends on the person, but don't try to avoid grieving by working. It will only delay the process. If you are still "bringing down the fun atmosphere" two yrs from now, then you have a problem.
  4. by   ItsThatJenGirl
    I'm so very sorry.

    You won't ever be the same person/nurse you were before you lost your husband. You'll find a new sort of normal, and that'll take time. Don't worry about bringing people down for right now. Worry about sorting out your emotions and slowly finding your new normal.

    I think what you're doing is fine - working through it. As long as you're still allowing yourself the time and space to grieve.
  5. by   cleback
    Sorry for your loss. That your worried about this shows how much of a thoughtful coworker you are. They're lucky to have you. Honestly, just give it time. You won't be the same person but like another said you'll find a new normal and coworkers will focus on that, rather than your loss. ~Best.
  6. by   Purple_roses
    Nurses are literally in the business of comforting people during the toughest times of their lives. This is your time, and you seem to be in a close-knit group. If I were your coworkers, I would completely understand and I wouldn't view you as selfish at all.

    I am so very sorry for your loss and what you're going through.

    (((Hugs)))
  7. by   NurseCard
    Wow, I am so very sorry. So sorry. Bless you... please allow
    yourself time to grieve, and try not to focus on how others around
    you are feeling.
  8. by   TriciaJ
    I'm so sorry about your husband. I think you should take time off from work, as painful as that is. I do think that working or doing anything to distract yourself will only prolong the worst of it. If it was me, I'd also worry that I might not be cognitively on top of my game and be more error-prone. So I don't think it's selfish to go back to work. It's just that you're caring for others and not taking the best care of yourself.

    Wishing you peace and healing.
  9. by   Anonymous865
    You have my deepest sympathy for your terrible loss.

    I don't think you are being selfish for going back to work.

    I also don't think you should look at it as a way to "escape my own reality."

    Your new reality is that you have to build a new life without your husband. By returning to work you are starting that difficult journey.

    I hope that soon your memories of him will bring your joy rather than sadness.
  10. by   sallyrnrrt
    One of the most therapeutic things I did for myself, in a very similar situation was to get back into the service of others.....,it may have saved me....and I'm truly an asset and better nurse for experiencing it...

    My best wishes

    And mucho {{hugs}}
  11. by   caliotter3
    I got hit with a baseball bat when I returned to work. It actually was the start of the end of my career. There was nothing I could have done differently because I had no options. Don't feel guilty because you went back to the world. You would not feel this way if you were destitute and leaving the world of work were not an option. Like they say, "We gotta do what we gotta do". Best wishes.
  12. by   roser13
    I'm very sorry for your loss. My advice is to expect that one day in the future, you may need to take some time off for yourself. Probably when the first meaningful holiday or the anniversary of something special in your married life occurs. I would guess that you're able to work right now because you're in some phase of shock.
  13. by   pixierose
    Quote from Purple_roses
    Nurses are literally in the business of comforting people during the toughest times of their lives. This is your time, and you seem to be in a close-knit group. If I were your coworkers, I would completely understand and I wouldn't view you as selfish at all.

    I am so very sorry for your loss and what you're going through.

    (((Hugs)))
    ^^^ This.

    I'm so sorry for your loss.
  14. by   nursel56
    How blessed you are to work with such a nurturing group of people. They in turn may be wondering how they can best be there for you. I'm reminded of a seventies era new agey phrase "don't push the river", so true in the grief process.

    So sorry for your loss.♡

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