Friday, 29 April 2011

Getting out of bed in the morning is not necessarily a good idea

Last week I went to the crematorium to discuss what to do with Dr P's ashes. I think I have decided what to do, but will wait for some time before making and acting on the final decision. Later that afternoon the funeral parlour director telephoned me. The bill for the funeral has not been paid, and they were about to start debt recovery proceedings. I explained the situation and referred them to the solicitor.

After Dr P's death I was assured that, despite the assets of the deceased estate being frozen, banks and funeral parlours do have arrangements by which funds are released to pay for the funeral.

Payment has not been made. This upset me greatly. I feel that Dr P's memory is dishonoured.

A letter came from the department which deals with Dr P's superannuation (and with my spouse benefit) asking for details of the Executors, who have not yet contacted them. This opened my tear gates and produced a huge flood.

I have sent all the bills to the solicitor, as I was advised to do, and I don't know what the hell they are doing. I am now referring creditors to the solicitor. His last communication advised, in a rather punitive way, that they will cut off all accounts as of 1 May. I have been asking for all these accounts to be cancelled, so that I can meet my own liabilities, but there is no intimation of how I am to establish my own accounts. I expect I will muddle through somehow, and in fact I have managed to transfer one of the phone accounts to my name - but not the other - because I lack legal standing. You'd expect that the merest civility, or standards of professionalism, should cause some propriety in dealing with me, notwithstanding any action I may be taking to exercise my legal rights. It seems I was wrong.

Are the executors/solicitor are being incompetent, or merely thoughtless, cruel, heartless bastards?

Yesterday the telephone stopped working. I was attempting at the time to establish an account in my name, and the systems was one of the worst I have experienced. Voice recognition systems, etcetera.

When I realised that the telephone was not working, as every number I tried to ring gave an engaged signal, I managed to get connected to the telephone company to report the fault. One of their staff tried to talk me through unplugging telephones, cables and the modem. I could not follow what she meant, and suddenly the tear gates flooded yet again, and kept on and on. The staff member stopped trying to instruct me and was most sympathetic. She assured me that all calls would come through my mobile and that by tonight the problem would be fixed. I was glad I was not the person having to deal with me. It must be awful to have someone on the other end of the phone suddenly cry hysterically and become totally incoherent as well as incompetent.

I have been reading a couple of books by widows, on their experiences. One, A Widow's Story,  is by Joyce Carol Oates, an author whose novels I have never read. Her husband died unexpectedly after a short illness. Theirs had been a long and very happy marriage, and her description of their lives, his death, her bereavement and grief, is heartrending and memorable. There is much which resembles my own experience.

I borrowed from the library a couple of books on grieving. They did not help. Too anecdotal, too general. Too wise. I returned them the next day. I know I am doing everything I can to cope, that time will heal - but  I want to rant and flail, to hit out, to upbraid, to make them hurt as I hurt, to abuse. All the academic understanding of the various stages of grief does not help. When friends commiserate, somehow it feels necessary to minimise the pain and distress.

I want comfort, to be held, soothed, and to be rid of the anger which is part (so they say) of the grieving process, and which also springs from the badly drafted will, which takes no account of nor makes any provision for the circumstances confronting me. How could he treat me so?

So I wept very bitterly and long, and there is no end in sight. There may never be a resolution, and whatever happens must be borne.


Relatively Retiring said...


Pam said...

Oh dear, poor Persiflage.

I think you just have to weep - I don't mean that heartlessly: I just mean that I doubt if you can reason yourself out of it, intellectualise yourself out of it. You just have to go with the pain and wait for it to ease a bit, meanwhile telling people about it and getting sympathy.

I feel this about the pain of my daughter going away. I know it's natural; I know children have to fly and all that. But it doesn't make it one bit better.

Loss is horrible. I'm so sorry. And you've got all that messiness too. Again, I'm so sorry and am thinking of you. I'm sure it will improve in a way, in the end. But this probably doesn't help at all, now. Waving to you over the miles.

Frances said...

When my husband died, Persiflage, I wanted to hack my hair off at the skull, a visible reminder to people to treat me with care.

Children, school, dogs, meals and 7000 sheep were a steadying influence.
You now will make yourself a new life, as you clamber out of these many difficulties. Perhaps you won't come to terms with an unfair will: still, anger can be energising.
If I were you I would consult his children about his ashes. It's an odd thing about husbands: he is their blood kin, but not actually yours. They may care a great deal about their disposal.
I've read of children having deep bitterness about such.

Meggie said...

Oh, Persiflage, I do so feel for you!
If the living could only forsee the hideousness they could leave, they would surely ensure it would never happen. I am pleased to think we have very simple Wills and hope that details will not be complicated, when we pass this way.

Christine said...

C.S.Lewis's 'A Grief Observed', might help??? It describes his response to the death of his wife. He was writing his way through it. Take care

dorothy parker said...

Hang in there. It might sound perverse, but to be alive to cry is better than to be dead to all feeling ...