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Money matters...

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I must stop looking with anticipation down our driveway to the path between the houses…  I continue to stop and stare, fully expecting to see him walk home from the golf course.  No matter how many times I tell myself that it will be no more, I still gaze in that direction with great longing…    

I have permanently changed my routine for retrieving the mail in an effort to keep from imagining that scene so often in my mind…  I check it only upon returning home from somewhere, so that I face our back yard instead…  This adjustment does nothing to spare me from the trauma caused by innumerable indifferent missives inside the mailbox itself…  Life goes on, its’ business as usual, as it should be, as it must…  I am learning that there are so many items of business and matters of money that follow in the aftermath of sudden death.  None of this is intentionally hurtful; it’s just that tidying up the details, wrapping up your 17-year old son’s life is upsetting, to say the least…  

We keep receiving statements from two hospitals, the medic service, various doctors, and our insurance company.  About half are addressed directly to Brian...  I know this is due to the chaos at the accident scene and the urgent nature of our situation.  The primary focus was on saving our son, for which we are ever grateful.  Still, it is hard to receive these bills in his name.  It’s even more difficult to make another round of calls, requesting (again) corrections to their information so that our health insurance policy will process the claims correctly.  Each time I must explain anew who I am, who he was, and why this must be done.  I have tried to maintain my composure and a detached, professional demeanor, but today I flat out lost it; I failed miserably.  One person insisted upon speaking with Brian to confirm it was okay to change his information.  Choking back a sob of fury, I bluntly informed her that he was no longer able to vouch for my position as his mother, as he died in the accident that initiated the need for their services…  I should probably apologize; I’m sure she was just doing her job, but on the other hand, their records DID show that he was a minor, so…  

And then there is the issue of his cell phone.  Sitting there, on the kitchen counter, sticking out like a sore thumb…a box from Verizon Wireless…  It was delivered to our home at some point on the afternoon of June 12, addressed to me.  This package was one of the few things I noticed when we came in, without our child, facing the next scene in every parent’s worst nightmare…  I hadn’t requested an exchange, nor had John or Grace, so it had to be Brian, wheeling and dealing once again…  And it was; I discovered that he ordered a replacement phone on June 10.  What a cruel twist, being greeted by this object of so much conflict and contention between us…it seems silly and stupid now…  Maybe this isn’t a wise course of action, but I am not ready to deal with this issue yet.  I simply cannot do it.  How can I eliminate his recorded greeting and the last communications of his life?  I haven’t called his number, but it is comforting somehow to know that I can, anytime I want to.  Yes, it is a waste of money, but I’ll gladly give up something else instead…  

I pray other parents are smarter than us; I hope they carry life insurance on their children.  John and I always agreed that the purpose of life insurance was for replacing income, and given that our children really weren’t producing any, it didn’t seem necessary.  We were totally unprepared for all of the expenses associated with a funeral.  We have wills and life insurance on ourselves, but beyond that…this sort of thing isn’t supposed to happen…  Unfortunately, we know the hard way that it does…things occur beyond our so-called control…  I must remember to mention this to our family and to our friends with kids.  Hopefully they will consider what we did not, perhaps saving themselves the financial burden we now face.  Heaven, please forbid that the unthinkable take place again…  

Original blog posts have been re-posted under the month of March, identified as Archive-Part 1, etc.  Informal support group…meeting at Panera Bread, Matthews, NC on Saturday, April 25, 2009 @ 10:00 am.  Please send a message if you plan to attend…  Wishing you hope… TG  

Tammy will update her blog on Mondays and Thursdays.  -- Jen, site administrator

 
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