Widow Wisdom: What was the hardest thing about going back to work after you were widowed?

We asked our widow sisters to share  their wisdom by answering this question; What was the hardest thing about going back to work after you were widowed?

Here are some of their answers:

  • Fighting the urge to call him during the day to check on him. Also part of our routine was for me to call him on my way home from work to see how he was feeling, what he wanted for dinner, etc. Losing little routines like that were really hard. – Emily


  • So many things…..the awkward pauses when your coworkers don’t know what to say, the ones who think they know what to say, and really shouldn’t say anything. Dealing with having to change my marital status and emergency contact information, but the hardest was going home to an empty house at the end of the day… – Wister on Instagram


Pregnant woman is working

  • I had a very difficult time of concentrating and feeling confident in my job. I really felt like I went through that widows fog. I was very distracted and my mind was just racing all over the place. -Alice


  • Everyone staring at you in fear of saying it doing the wrong thing and expecting you to crack at any second. So you work harder to appear fine and that makes it worse. Also those moments in the day you would normally call or text them, you reach to do it and realize – they won’t be on the other end. So those moments and breaks become a dreaded part of the day – mine was the walk to lunch and the drive home. We would chat every day, so after – I just sobbed for the 45 minutes instead. – Wister on Instagram



  • Hardest thing was going back to work at the same place my husband passed away. I’m a nurse and he died 2 units away the unit I work on. I constantly relive the moments I was there for his accident. I have triggers that I fight daily. I have patients I still can’t care for because it’s too much to handle, too close to home. – Kylie


  • Allowing my co-workers to love me – Wister on Instagram



  • The awful brain fog and waves of sadness. I sat at my desk so many days with tears rolling down my cheeks while I tried to get through work. It made it very difficult to stay focused.- Rachel


  • I travelled a lot for work & had a one week old when I became a widow. I took four months off and had to go back. Leaving my daughter wasn’t the hard part, coming home was harder because you came home to be reminded of all the realities of becoming a widow. – Wister on Instagram


  • Dealing with insensitivity (one woman said I’d been in vacation for a whole month) and not having the emotional strength to get through the day. – Maura


  • Everyone looking at me with that pity face saying I’m so sorry constantly and not being themselves around me – Wister on Instagram



  • Having to suppress my sadness and act completely “normal.”-Darcie


  • Arriving at my desk and seeing our pictures. And the sudden storm of years that would come out of no where. I had my 50th birthday shortly after I got back. I told my co workers I appreciated their sentiments but really didn’t want to celebrate. Well one woman thought she knew better, got a cake and got everyone to sing happy birthday at which I lost it and melted into tears. She proclaimed I was too sensitive. – Claudia



  • I had to return to work a week after he died simply because of money. I had three children and there was no life insurance. Unfortunately my job was a wedding coordinator. So when I returned to work having my life just be shattered I got to watch people marry weekend after weekend. I was miserable and honestly think it made my grieving/healing process worse. After about 6 months I left. I just couldn’t handle it anymore. – Jodi


  • We own our own antique business, so….everything….we had renovated the new building ourselves, we had our best adventures out picking…it made me sad, but now it gives me joy and purpose to be able to continue working our dream! – Katina


  • I loved my job but with two small children at home, I quickly realized that I was needed at home full time. I went through a secondary loss quitting a job that I had worked at for over 10 years and loved. With that said, I don’t regret staying at home with my two children until they started school. Best decision I ever made for us. – Tina