Sunday, September 9, 2012

I'm Lonely

I’m lonely.
That’s probably not a shock.
I’m a widow.  It’s expected.

And don’t get me wrong.
My friends and family do their very best to make me feel included.
I also know that I could call a dozen people who would go with me to a movie, a meal, or shopping.
I love you all, but you are not my husband.

I’m like a solider who has lost a limb.
You can give me prosthesis for my loss, but it’s never the same.
It’s NEVER the same.
And I miss what I lost…feel phantom pain in it.

Several widows have mentored me, which is a blessing.
And I belong to a wonderful on-line support group where I can share my heart with fellow “amputees.”
They confirm that my feelings are normal…that I’m not crazy.
They get me and my aches because they are living it.

But nothing, NOTHING can take the place, in my life and heart, of what has been taken from me.
I am left with this unending solitude…this forever one-ness…even in a crowd.
It never ends.

I have no one to share my joys and burdens.
I have no one to bounce ideas with or share secrets.
I have no one to cuddle up against when it gets cold at night.
I have no one to look forward to seeing at the end of the day.

I can fill my waking hours with all sorts of activities,
But when I crawl into bed at night…
I am still a lonely widow missing the man who was amputated from my life.


Sunday, September 2, 2012

Being Prepared for Death 101

It has been a while since I've posted.  I've been downsizing and purging and all the other headaches and heartaches that go with a move.

My Steve has been gone more than 2 years, but the red tape of his death still plagues me.  What really bothers me is that a lot of this could have been avoided if we'd done just a few minor things along the way.

My friends have encouraged me to share these, as they were completely unaware how very little things can become mountains to overcome when a spouse dies.  While it is my prayer than none reading this post will experience the untimely death of your spouse, I do want you to be informed and proactive.

  1. Get every utility in BOTH your names with the word OR between them.  That includes power, water, gas, phone, cell service, alarm service, termite bond, etc.  Because all these things were in my husband's name only, I had to get them in my own name and pay a fee for my trouble.
  2. Get every financial account in BOTH your names with the word OR between them.  This will include checking, savings, retirement, investments, etc.  If you don't, be prepared for a great deal of time and effort to get this settled.  Oh, and don't leave home without a death certificate and a Letters of Testamentary with you to get them in your name.
  3. Get every automobile, boat, motorcycle, and property in BOTH your names with the word OR between them.  Dealing with the agencies that handle these things is a nightmare.
  4. Get a will.  Today.
  5. Make sure you know all your family finances...where your money is invested, how much debt you have, where all the legal papers are, and how and when bills are paid.  (Have your power turned off in the middle of a horrible thunderstorm because your late husband paid that bill by automatic bank draft and you didn't know that.)
  6. Know where your tax documents are stored.  Know WHO your family accountant is and how to get in touch with them.
  7. Begin NOW prepaying for your funeral...unless you have an extra $25,000 just laying around to pay that unexpected cost.  Go ahead and buy your burial plots, too.
I am sure there are more, but those are the ones that gave me the biggest challenge.  You will weather all of this.  You will learn how to handle the family finances on your own.  You will overcome all these obstacles.  However, you can make things easier for yourself by being proactive now.