Saturday, January 15, 2011

Oh the paperwork ....

When I met with the funeral director after Vern passed he handed me this big green box and said it had everything I needed to take care of all of the required paperwork ... but that I could wait to deal with all of that ... 6 months even.  Well, we haven't even reached the 4 month mark and I've learned I can no longer ignore some of it. I don't feel like dealing with it - I don't want to take Vern's name off our bank account - but I'm not being given a choice.  We've had an account at this credit union since we moved here in 1982, with both of our names on it. But I got a call telling me that they were closing that account because Vern was the primary. What?!?  I hate it, but my voice broke and I had to grab those big girl panties once again. Why on earth would they need to close the account?  Come to find out, it was because I have an account there in my name and you're not allowed to have two accounts. OK, then why not close that one (it was only opened to secure an auto loan many years ago in my name) and leave our main account intact? The main account is where my paychecks are automatically deposited and where all of my bills are linked to. I'm just not up to having to make all those changes and, luckily, the guy on the other end of the phone heard me (or didn't want to deal with a crying widow).  He said they rarely do it, but he could move the money from MY account over to OUR account and change the name on it. Then he started talking about the IRAs Vern had in there - not much, but since Vern would have turned 70 this year it means he would have had to start drawing. More discussion ... and eventually the understanding that those could be transferred over to me without penalties. I offered to come in to sign paperwork, but he said he'd send it. (That makes me laugh ... maybe I scared him and he'd rather not have to deal with me face-to-face?)

And then there's the IRS. I received the anticipated certified letter from them this week detailing the hefty penalties involved.  I'm embarrassed to admit that I did not file our taxes the past couple of years.  Yes, I know ... it's not like me. Perhaps I was secretly hoping the IRS would knock on the door and take me away to debtors' prison and I wouldn't have to deal with all that I was living with.  Stupid? Yes, of course. And I certainly would have fought ever leaving Vern. So why did I do it, and why haven't I dealt with it yet? I honestly don't know.  It is the only secret I ever kept from Vern and I'm saddened by that.  So another supply of big girl panties is at the ready as I finally tackle this issue.

I received a very complimentary proposal from someone who would like me to work for them. It's been nice to think about, but I'm not ready to make a change there yet.  I'll hit 60 this year and 25 years at my company, so there are opportunities for me to consider retiring in the not-too-distant future - when I'm ready.  I'd still like to look into getting a place in Florida, but must get all of the IRS stuff settled to see what I can do financially.

I think I'm doing ok overall. Work feels better and I'm trying to get back on top of everything there that might have slipped through the cracks since I have taken so much time off.  I've come to terms with those who have disappointed me and have placed those feelings where they need to be so they don't hinder my healing. I have a lot of clean up to do around the house. I've kept far too many things over the years and could probably qualify for one of those 'clean house/hoarder' shows. Losing Vern has emphasized that 'things' or 'stuff' isn't what is important so I think I'll be able to easily donate or toss much of what has accumulated.  I joined Angie's List so I can find some good, reliable, trustworthy people to take care of things that need to be done around the house.

I still find a need for solitude on my days off.  My biggest emotion these days is sadness that Vern is no longer here to share my life. The tears still come, often at surprising times, but they don't overwhelm me these days. Cocooning brings me comfort, but then when it comes time to return to work I feel guilty for having completely wasted all those hours.  I surf the 'Net, read, start a project, stop working on the project, watch movies, make lists, play on Facebook, read blogs, go through old photos, reminisce. Not really productive, but it feels good for me right now to just 'hunker down' in the home Vern and I shared here in Nevada for 27 years.

"When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight." - Khalil Gibran


Susie Hemingway said...

So many of the things you mention here Dianne, mirror my own thoughts. I have also been dealing with the paperwork required when someone dies and there seems so much of it! I have also been sorting through H's documents and things that were put off when dealing with the Oh! so more important medical issues. Where did the last 5 years go to? I find myself wasting much time re-reading letters and looking at old photos and like you I love my time alone.
You finish with the truly beautiful words from Hamada's favourite poet (except me of course lol) Khalil Gibran. How true is this. Love to you xxx

Mary Jo said...

Hang in there. I am being forced to deal with some issues because my step-children want "closure" so they can check things off their to do list for 2011. I did find a great service at USAA for widows that has helped me walk through things. I HATE doing the taxes this year, because it forces me to re-visit all the medical expenses...and memories associated with them.

Boo said...

Dianne, I remember having to do this, and some of it fortunately, my sister in law did with me, gently insisting that we tackle it. I remember crying in the bank when they told me they were going to take his name off our account, and they were very kind and although they took his name off the cheques, they still left his name on the cover the the cheque books. I couldn't find the life insurance policy and it took me a long time to deal with that ... in the end I had to get one of our corporate lawyers to sign a statement with me, then I let the money sit in the account for the longest time. After around 3 months the bank sent me a very touching letter saying that they understood it was hard for me, but they weren't charging me the interest on the mortgage and I really had to sign the release of monies to pay off our house. It was so hard then to do it, even though I knew Cliff would be worried, because in a way, it meant that I had to admit that he wasn't coming home. I found any paperwork relating to his death extremely upsetting and stressful. I hope you have support to hold you up while you do all of this.

Hugs, Boo x

Lori Puente said...

Oh Dianne. I feel your pain, but you made me laugh with your "big girl panties" comments. I love that. You are amazing!

Anne said...

Can so relate to your entry. I lost my man 15 Sept 2010, (melanoma) I also turn 60 this coming year, been married for 38 years, now job hunting, sorting out paperwork, winding up a business...... and yes taking care of the hoarding. I live in NZ, going away tomorrow for a week but will be back to read the other entries. If you want an invite to my blog just email me -
Thanks Anne (from New Zealand)

Hira Animfefte said...