Just over a week ago, I had an appointment at my late husband’s bank. We never had joint accounts. I took care of all the bills, he merely transferred his share of the funds to me each month.
I was shocked to learn that he’d taken out a personal line of credit which was now racked up to a decent amount which I am apparently now responsible for as his “next of kin”. After losing my husband a mere four months after a shocking cancer diagnosis, you’d think the universe might have some good news for me for a change. Apparently not.
So.. given that I’m newly widowed with a mortgage and daycare to pay for on a single income, I obviously can’t pay this debt, so I asked my sis-in-law who i’m close with to ask his parents if they could help. You see, they own their home and have no debts whereas we have a massive mortgage and a pretty sizeable line of credit we racked up when we were both unemployed at the same time. They also didn’t offer to help with his funeral – the planning or the costs. Their response to this request was to inform my sis-in-law that he owed them a pretty good chunk of $ that they’ll never get back. WTF!?!? Seriously…!?!? This is their granddaughter’s future…! It also has to be said that they spend their retirement days out shopping and casino hopping so they obviously have some funds to play with. Or they have a gambling problem. I actually hope it’s the latter. If it’s the former and they’re this selfish, I’m going to struggle with making any effort to allow them to see their granddaughter. No, I’m not that cold, but I sure won’t be doling out any hugs when I see them.
Which brings me to today – just over one month since my husband passed and I had our first family function (his side) to attend. Not only did my 19 month old and I have to take the bus to and from the party (a mere 15 minutes away), but his mom actually gave ME the cold shoulder. Didn’t once ask how I was doing. Other members of his family actually told me how hard it was for them without him physically being there. Again.. not one of them asked how I was doing! How can they not realize that what they felt for a few hours today is what I feel every f*cking day!?!? When you lose your person – the one you shared a home, a bed, a child, a handful of text messages with every day – the pain and emptiness are ALWAYS there. Yet they rarely check in on me and his parents have only called once in the month since he passed. For all they know, I could be a complete mess, a broken person, a puddle, neglecting their grandchild, making poor decisions for both of us. I’m not, obviously. My head is on straight and she is my priority. I’ve yet to cry in front of her – even when she asks me almost daily now for him in her broken 19 month old language… “Daddy? Where? Miss him. Miss Daddy.” Breaks my f*cking heart every time. I’m grateful that she’s so bright and has the gift of what seems to be a photographic memory as she will always remember him, but during these times of sadness, disbelief and isolation, it makes it difficult to stay strong and put on a happy face for her.
I’m also finding that I have moments where I’m so angry at him. So very angry. Why would he take out a line of credit when we were only on one income? Why didn’t he take out life insurance when I nagged him about it nearly every month for over the past two years? I know this anger is displaced. I know I’m angry at the world, at Fate, at anything that had a hand in taking my best friend, my partner, the father to our child, my soul mate from me so quickly and at such a young age. Our relationship, like most was complicated, but he was always the absolute best father a child could ask for and as someone who only grew up with negative father figures, I’m so angry at the world for taking him from us. For taking the experience of having a doting father from my daughter and from again depriving me of what a father/daughter relationship should be.
I have always been an optimist, upbeat and positive to the point where it annoyed many and I’ve always believed that everything happens for a reason. This experience has shaken my entire belief system. What reason could there possibly be for depriving our beautiful, bright, innocent daughter of growing up without her father’s love?
I am forever changed.. Gone is the eternal optimist. I no longer believe that everything happens for a reason. There is no reason for this that I will ever find acceptable.
Hang in there. The anger and frustration are entirely normal. I was shocked (or naive) at how much paperwork and bureaucracy there was after my wife passed. I had to relive the death every day when I called creditors and banks and credit cards and…….well you already know this. As for the line of credit you should talk to an accountant because every state is different – if you kept your income and bank accounts separate as you say then the bank is selling you a bunch of phooey by saying you are now responsible for it. Confirm that through an accountant, as at least where I live the credit card companies and bank told me the same thing – you are now responsible. But my accountant explained that since the cards (and by extension a line of credit) were under her name and I was not on them in any fashion, in the state I live in I was not responsible for them. Armed with that information I wrote a letter to them explaining why I was not responsible and waited for the other shoe to drop. To my relief I received letters back stating that the accounts had been closed and that no further action was required. So definitely check and double-check.
Thank you. I know that the anger is mostly displaced and what I’m really furious about is the loss of my person and having to move on without him. I have to remind myself constantly that he’d want me to be happy and that he would be living happily if he were still with us – that he wouldn’t want me to waste a minute of this life (the life that was taken from him) in anger or sadness. Sometimes this line of thinking helps, sometimes, I’m in too much disbelief to think about it.
I spoke with a friend who’s an estate lawyer and it seems that b/c my name wasn’t on his personal debts, I’m not legally responsible to pay them off. I’ll have to deal with creditors harassing me for a bit, but the “new me” can handle them. Once a people pleaser, I no longer give a sh*t what people think of me. Anyone who gets in the way of raising my daughter with the best this life can give her isn’t worth the energy.
That is the right attitude. And I’m glad you looked into it and know you are not responsible. Keep your head up.