How To Be The Good Dead

You don’t get to be a widow without a dead guy. So if you plan to be a good dead guy (and one day, we all shall be filling that particular role) it’s going to make it far easier on those left behind who love you. Do a little planning ahead. It helps a lot.

Have a will. Keep it up to date and be sure your loved one knows where it is. Make it as clear and extensive as you can think of. Ours was a very simple “I love you will”, essentially meaning everything that was mine went to John and everything of John’s went to me. If you have a more complicated situation, the more clear you can make your will the better. And the cheaper the attorney fees will be to settle your estate.

Keep your papers in order. Having all your accounts in one place and the paperwork all together, even if all just shoved in the same filing cabinet, makes things a world easier and eliminates any unpleasant surprises.

Have medical directives. This is so important. Even though John’s final illness took its own obvious course, it was enormously comforting to me to have his medical directives there to read, clearly outlined. They didn’t specifically apply in his final illness, but it helped a great deal anyway. I knew that I was addressing his medical care in line with what he wanted, he had said to me, “You’ll know what to do”. But to have written proof to that effect helped even more. You too might have talked about it in some abstract sense now and then. There’s always the chance that family members will passionately disagree about “What He Really Wanted”. Having it in writing will make it significantly easier on all concerned. We were lucky as we were all in agreement, in fact, the three people he named in the directive were there at his bedside but his wishes in writing were still a great comfort to all of us.

Don’t have bad secret stuff. Fortunately for me, all John’s affairs had been aired out in the open and I knew about his past transgressions. He was a scrupulous keeper of sentimental items, so had kept all kinds of… well, “evidence”. It had all come out during our marital woes and I had asked him to dispose of everything, but still I worried about going through his things after he died. As luck would have it, the only such things he kept after our reconciliation were sentimental items about me and our life together. That was a great relief. Besides, you never know who is going to paw through your things after you die. Try to only leave things that are how you would like to be remembered.

Good secret stuff is okay though. Part of dealing with enormous loss is the recognition of the transient nature of everything except for the love you shared. None of the stuff matters. Still, discovering sweet or funny things about John long after his death is lovely. He stashed baseball cards everywhere, it’s fun to find them. And he left a playlist on his iPod filled with songs named “Songs A. Should Like.” It’s like a lullaby to me now.

Pretty damn inconsiderate of him to die when you get right down to it. But I did appreciate that he left his life in order. It made it easier to shoulder the stuff alone.

Born in 1961. Married in 1990. Widowed in 2007. Blogging in 2009.

1 comments On How To Be The Good Dead

  • Widowed too soon

    I know this one way too well. He was a fantastic husband and an excellent father. Unfortunately, He had trust issues due to the exe’s. Yes, I am number three. I paid the price for their infidelities. No will, his children got his life insurance which is fine with me, I got all the responsibilities of cleaning out his house, going thru probate and trying to get his house sold. Unfortunately, there is not enough in his account to cover everything and being the executor I get the expenses of monthly mailings and all the phone calls from the collectors. The latest exe couldn’t get her grubby paws onto the insurance money left to their son so now she is trying to use the son to get anything she can so she can sell it. That marriage didn’t even last a year and a half. I am trying to go with what my husband had stated while he was alive and I know once the car is delivered to their son who is just turning 16 she will have it sold and none of it will go to the boy. I hope he realizes how his mother is and when he turns 18 and gets the insurance money he tells her right where to get off at. To me it is just material things and I could really care less about that right now. I feel very cheated right now, I finally found someone that was cut from the same mold that I was and for the first time in my life I could actually say that I loved someone heart and soul. The void is unbearable and I am so lost. I know that the Lord has better plans for me and that I do not know what the big picture is but I have been seeing my past come into my mind and I wonder if I have ever done anything right. I am seeing or remembering things that I didn’t have control over and I wonder if I was the reason the bad things happened. I wonder if there is really any family or values left in today’s world. I am very tired way past bone tired. I push myself to try to do what I need to do but I am not very successful at it. My heart has no desire to do anything that once gave me pleasure. What am I to do?

Leave a reply:

Your email address will not be published.

Site Footer

Sliding Sidebar

One more thing…

How else do I know what hurts and what helps? Because not only were they done to me… I learned through this process that I am certain to have done the very same "Don't" things to others at some point along the way. If you're one of them, I am genuinely sorry. I'm trying to learn.