"Widowhood" Being Prepared

by Patricia Guiff

Life completely changed for me when my husband quite suddenly passed away. I went from the two of us going out for breakfast and shopping for Christmas, to 36 days in the ICU, four (4) major surgeries and the stark reality of coming home to an empty house.

Within a week my head was spinning - so many things to do, decisions to make along with total exhaustion. I had no clue as to all the things I would need to do after my husbands death.

First was dealing with the funeral, the expenses, the decisions in general about visitation times, how many days - "what clothes would you like to put on your husband"? What kind of a question was that - I didn't want to talk about that, I didn't want to make that decision - could we just please talk about something else?

So much paperwork - a trip to the social security office and the representative asking question after question; did I have his social security card - his birth certificate - our latest tax return, and it went on and one and on.

Then off to the attorney; re-do my will, change the deed to the house, change the title to the car - don't forget to call your insurance agent - don't forget to call, don't forget to call....don't forget to call!!!

To make it perfectly clear, I thought I was organized - I was not however prepared!

So ladies (and gentlemen) I suggest that you take a spiral notebook and start to get yourself prepared. None of us want to think about dying, but we all know it is a reality.

In you notebook start by writing down any and all telephone numbers you would need in this situation; write down social security numbers; where are the Wills and Power of Attorney kept?

Then, put you notebook in a secure place, update it now and then - at a time in your life when all around you is chaos and you just can't or don't want to think, your little notebook will be a comfort to you.

As I said in the beginning of this writing, "widowhood" though not always easy, can be made a little easier by being prepared.

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