The Business Of Dying

pink flower 2

Image by califmom via Flickr

We planned ahead. Thank God.

When our children were born, we had our trust done, bought life insurance, wrote advanced directives with our wishes should we be unable to make decisions in our final hours.

As the surviving spouse, I cannot tell you how much I appreciate that we did all of that in our twenties.

And it still sucks.

The cost of running my husband’s obituaries was equivalent to what we spent on my wedding ring. And we skipped the San Francisco Chronicle. They charge $95/line per day. Lesson learned: Don’t die in San Francisco if you can’t afford it.

Then there’s medical insurance. We had that through my husband’s employer. Bob died on the 18th. I signed for a certified letter, my first written communication of condolence from his employer (a post-it note stuck to the forms we’ll need to fill out to continue our medical coverage via COBRA) yesterday afternoon. I haven’t called yet to find out how much that will cost. I knew it was coming. I thought I’d get a card with some flowers on the front first, but I understand. There are time constraints to these things.

Really, these are just the tip of the iceberg of paperwork and cruel slaps I’ll face in the coming weeks and months. How can I face them and not end up in a heap on the floor every time? Because I have all of you supporting me.

The words you send me hold me up. I cannot begin to express how much your comments here and sent privately have meant to me and my family. You remind me of the beauty in the world, the love my husband shared, and the laughter.

No matter how many awkward moments I have ahead, how many times I crumple to the floor of the shower in tears (crying in the shower has to be the most cathartic thing on Earth), I know I will have friends and family who will pick me back up, and a husband who is watching over me. I carry on.