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Question
Posted by: Curious D | 2019/07/16

Grieving but short tempered

Dear Cybershrink, My father passed on a few weeks ago and I have now returned to work. I understand that grieving is a process and will take time. However I notice I am quite impatient nowadays and at work I am 'short' or abrupt with my subordinate staff. Please can you advise on how I can reduce or control this as I don't want to disrespect or offend anyone. Thank you,

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink
- 2019/07/16

Hello Curious D,
Sorry to hear of your loss. Indeed, grief is not only a process, but usually it's really hard work,  and does take time.  Often it's useful to resume work, or other activities, otherwise one is left with rather too much time in which one has nothing to do except feel awful.  Irritability is quite a common component of bereavement.
A superb book I have found very useful for many people, including myself, in print for decades, "A Grief Observed" by CS Lewis. usually a small paperback. The author, seeking to understand his own grief, found a couple of old notebooks, and started writing down his observations on himself and others.  It sheds a lot of valuable light on the range of normal experiences, and how he worked through them. 
It usually takes at least 9 months or more to work through the many re-adjustments needed ; don't be impatient with yourself. The people at work should know that you have been bereaved and that you're working through it, that this means you may at times be irritable or abrupt, but that you apologize in advance, and don't want them to feel hurt about this.
Often, you may feel fine for lengths of time ( though sometimes one feels a bit guilty about feeling OK ) and then suddenly there's a pang of grief, and for a while it can be difficult to ignore when someone else is making a large fuss about a tiny issue.  It may be best to make an excuse to be alone for a short while, to cool off, before resuming such a discussion.
The grey sadness lit by flashes of irritation, does lift.  Gradually, for longer and longer periods.  Gradually one finds more contentment in remembering that they were and remain part of your life, than bitterness and gloom that they're no longer directly present.

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

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