Returning to work after bereavement 

picture of a man going to work

There might never feel like a good time to return to work following the death of a loved one, but the process can be made easier by thinking about the challenges you might encounter and how to handle them.

People respond to the loss of a loved one in different ways. Some people might crave the routine that work provides, others might find the idea of returning to their professional lives overwhelming at such a personally painful time. We look at the coping strategies you can adopt to help you through this potentially sensitive situation.

Review your hours

Do you feel able to return to full-time duties? Or would it make more sense to return for a few days a week at first, or carry out tasks from home for a while before making a return to your office or place of work? Your employer and HR team will be able to guide you through these decisions and agree a plan of how you will integrate back into the business.

Who should know?

You might be happy to talk openly with your colleagues about what has happened, or you might prefer to avoid the potential for awkward questions that you might find upsetting. Talk with your employer and HR team about how you want your return to work to be handled – do you want to act as though everything is ‘normal’, with no mention of your loss? Or would you prefer your colleagues openly acknowledge the reason behind your absence?

Keep focused

Grief can have a huge impact on your attention span and ability to concentrate. To help you feel less distracted, a to-do list or personal organiser can help you keep track of things during your working day, as can time management strategies, such as like dividing projects into smaller tasks and having a short break every hour.

Be ready for low moments

Prepare yourself for the fact that you might get overwhelmed. You might feel like you are going to cry, or be suffering from anxiety – whatever the reason, it can be really helpful to have a place to go where you can be alone. This could be a private work space or empty meeting room, or it might mean heading outside for a few minutes to get some fresh air.

Look after yourself

Don’t expect too much from yourself when you’ve just returned to work after a bereavement – remember that it will take time to adjust and if you are having trouble sleeping and concentrating your productivity levels are likely to suffer. It’s ok to ask for help so don’t struggle alone. Your colleagues might be able to take on a few of your responsibilities for a while, or you might be able to request an extension on a deadline. However, if you are really struggling to cope with your loss, talk to your employer and HR team, and request that your GP refers you to a bereavement counsellor


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Funeral Director fees

The price quoted contains the Funeral Director fees for a simple funeral. This includes:

  • Funeral Director fees for meetings, paperwork and running the funeral
  • Collection of the deceased and care prior to funeral
  • Hearse or appropriate vehicle for transport to the funeral
  • Basic coffin

The Funeral Director fees quoted do not include third party costs (often called disbursements). The Funeral Director will guide you through your options. These costs are:

  • Cremation or burial fees
  • Medical certificate for cremation
  • Clergy or officiant fee for conducting the ceremony

In addition to the disbursements you may want to discuss optional costs with your Funeral Director - these could include:

  • Funeral flowers
  • Memorial (venue hire, catering etc)
  • Memorial headstone
  • Orders of service

What is a Direct Cremation?

A Direct Cremation is an alternative to the traditional funeral. This involves the cremation of the deceased without a funeral service. A Direct Cremation is generally the most economic option because costs of the coffin, preparation of the body, funeral service and expensive transportation are not included. However, many people choose Direct Cremations for reasons other than expense, for example:

  • - Wanting to have a memorial at a different time to the cremation
  • - Expressed desire from the deceased to not have a ceremony
  • - Individuals with relatives who face big physical or geographical challenges in coming together for a ceremony

The prices quoted for Direct Cremations include:

  • All charges, meetings and paperwork for the cremation
  • Collection of deceased and care prior to cremation
  • A simple coffin and urn for the ashes
  • Cremation fees and delivery of ashes to the family

Why is this price Estimated?

We work hard to ensure the Funeral Director Fees we display are accurate and up to date. However, unlike with our partners, we cannot guarantee this price is correct today.


Funeral Choice charity donation

To redeem the £20 charity donation all you have to do is select the charity from the dropdown list in the Make Contact form. Once you have confirmed arrangements with that funeral director send us an email to confirming the service has been arranged. After we receive this email we will make the donation to the chosen charity and confirm back to you.