That kind of weather day. Moody, cloudy, wet, windy, cool. Five things completely associated with a Yorkshire Summer’s Day.

A few days back I did a post about five unexpected things to do with the pandemic. Well let’s do another one.

Five unexpected things I encountered during bereavement. Could do a huge list but let’s just try to pick out the five main ones.

    Just how much paperwork, leg work and phone calls you need to make in the weeks leading up to the funeral. Speaking to the hospice and hospital. Letting friends and families know. Registering the death. Trying to sort out joint bank accounts. Solicitors. Informing government agencies. Cancelling cards, subscriptions, memberships. Returning work assets. Selling a car. Pension authorities. Tax authorities. Changing things like house deeds. Changing insurance cover. Booking a funeral. Arranging the service. Inviting guests…… And on and on. This is all at a time when you are at your lowest ebb.
    Just how quickly the phone calls and visits dry up. Within weeks your suddenly alone. No more checks to see if you are ok. You’ve stopped but the world has kept turning. That’s when the mental health issues can really kick in.
    One person down and just how empty the house feels. Deathly quiet. Too many empty spaces. A very empty bed and sofa.
    Just how many times your mind plays tricks on you. Going shopping and you still buy stuff for the person you have lost. When you make meals you automatically make one for your partner. You drive back home and see your partners car in the drive – the first thought is too often – wow she’s home early today.
    Just how long the the legal side of the death can drag on. In my case the Will took well over a year to be finally signed off by the tax authorities. One bank account took two years to be finally transferred into my name. The telephone and TV accounts are still in joint names – given up trying.

I guess the message is that it’s going to take you to the depths of despair. It’s also going to be a bureaucratic nightmare. You just need to prepare yourself for the long hall. But there is stuff that helps. An empty, deathly quiet house is easily fixed by a mad puppy. If you know someone who is going through loss then why not phone them or even just send a card, especially if it’s a few months down the line – they probably really need the thought. Accept any help when it’s offered – you don’t need to do this alone. Take your time doing this – you don’t get a medal for completing as soon as possible. You need to spend time focusing on yourself, you really do.

67 thoughts on “5 things about death.

  1. I have a couple of cards here that I plan to send to my cousins who lost their mom last month. I thought I would wait ’til things settled down a bit and just let them know I was still thinking of them. Thanks for reminding me to do that.

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  2. I think people either get caught up in their own lives, or they don’t know what to say. Death and bereavement are still such taboo subjects… it’s silly. We are all of us going to go through this a some point. We should talk about it.
    Thank you, Gary for being so open and honest with your feelings and the practical side of the ongoing process. 💌💌

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Sorry again for you having to experience the loss of a loved one, a partner. I think you made very good points.
    My friend gave up trying to change the name on her cable bill too! Its just crazy! She wanted to make a change and they wouldn’t let her because of her husband’s name being on the account. She told them to forward their bills to Heaven.
    Another friend of mine tried to go out for dinner just a few days after her husband’s death. They declined her credit card because his name was on it.
    And I try to remember to send cards months after someone lost a loved one. For you are so right, its like people forget when for the hurting person the shock is wearing off and the harsh reality is sinking in!
    Continued prayers for you and your son as you navigate through this journey.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. It is post trauma trauma.
    I realise that some of the really, really personal things we deal with, we deal with alone. Yet as others all over the world are also physically alone dealing with things, does this also mean that we are not alone dealing with them, in that the collective consciousness of those in grief, living on upon this beautiful marble called Earth, are somehow linked and sending out comfort to each other and receiving the same? As for the practicalities, maybe this needs to be addressed. For this is one thing the “civilized” world is getting wrong.

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  5. I think tos tart with, people have been hit that hard they don’t quite see it and they go into auto just doing the hundred and one things required despite the way teh express train hit. Then as you’re lying in the carriage in the railway siding after, you see your life go by in another train. the life that was and you’re not on that train. The calls dry up you are right, the reality bites. You’re left punching time cards in that new carriage. But even here my friend, you are able to offer wee bits of hope, wee ways round things, wee ways of filling the spaces which make this such a great post.

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  6. “Just how quickly the phone calls and visits dry up. Within weeks your suddenly alone. No more checks to see if you are ok. You’ve stopped but the world has kept turning. That’s when the mental health issues can really kick in.”

    This point is so true and so sad. How many people say “If you need me I am here” yet disappear and not reach out after a few weeks

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  7. Just how long the the legal side of the death can drag on. In my case the Will took well over a year to be finally signed off by the tax authorities. One bank account took two years to be finally transferred into my name. The telephone and TV accounts are still in joint names – given up trying. <—a copy of the death certificate is enough here to change the names on accounts. Hugs.

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  8. The losses I’ve experienced were people who did not share my home which I know helped take the sting out of it. But when I went to visit my dad after mum died, it felt so empty, so different. I didn’t like being there at all. And yes, the sorting out takes forever. I used to be afraid of calling people who had a bereavement, not knowing what to say. Glad to say I sort of overcame that and often I’ve found that the bereaved needs to talk and I hardly needed to say anything, just needed to let them talk. Other societies have much better way of dealing with death. The USA is not one of them. I can only imagine the pain you went through, especially having the other bereavements so close.XX

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  9. I remember when Dad died, Mom only ordered 10 death certificates as he didn’t have a lot of things she thought would need a death certificate. She had to order 5 more, but chose to order 10 just in case. When Mom died, my sister ordered 20 death certificates which were enough with a few to spare of each of us to have a copy. It was cheaper and faster to order them initially as soon as a person had died. I remember the 10 for Dad came in a lot more expensive and a lot slower than the first set she ordered at the start.

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  10. Very true!! When my dad died and we learned they were hiding my moms Alzheimer’s… that was a nightmare

    She couldn’t verify who she was because she couldn’t remember anything!! Oh my god! I just remember what a nightmare that was! A double whammy one!!

    Not only did we have to deal with all that other stuff – but also taking control over her at the same time!!

    Is also hard not to have that expectation of seeing them walk through the door at any second – or hear their phone calls… that one took me awhile… you so used to how it was

    My grandmother had always had the same telephone number- always

    But it was still always listed under her father who died in 1966! Lol … way before I was even born!

    I have not called that number since she died… I know it’s been given to someone else. 😔💔

    There were so many times I would go to call and remember wait no… won’t be her. She is gone – so is that.

    But that number is just engrained as hers!! I wish I could still call- I wish it would still reach her … I kinda want it to be retired so no one else can have it.

    But ya know – they don’t do that.

    Anyway… yeah is hard

    Like

      1. Yeah it was tough… Thank you 🥰 I’ve gotten through it… I am close with my brother and we did together in unison… I am close with my sister too… but she is younger and way more of a loose cannon and far far away… we involved her, with decisions and things … but she didn’t help she is utmost emotional so it made it harder. She uses emotions not thoughts, and she has a lot of issues and problems my brother and I have to help her with… so it was just hard.

        Thank you ❤️ hugging you back 🤗

        Liked by 1 person

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