It’s getting harder to do the phone calls and fill out the forms. I don’t want to be reminded that he’s no longer here. I want to remain in a time where his presence still exists.
In the immediate aftermath of my husband’s death, pulling together all the details of what had to be done, who had to be notified, making phone calls all gave me something to do. As I’ve noted, it was a kind of distraction, and also proof that I was holding myself together. Oh, there were signs that this was hard. After every phone call when I had to say the words, “he died,” I had to sit very still for several minutes after hanging up, readjusting my emotional equilibrium, letting the past and present mingle in a way I could digest.
So today I called the company for one of his IRA accounts. One of its forms said I had to provide a death certificate with cause of death – and as far as I could tell, there was no “cause of death” on the certificate I had. The benefits specialist I spoke to said there had to be a cause of death, and she mentioned possible obstructions, like if the death required an investigation for, say, a murder. How would I get this more detailed death certificate? The benefits specialist suggested calling the funeral home that had provided the certificates I had.
I called that person and was told that New York City does not put a specific cause of death on the official certificate because that is considered confidential information. But, he said, look at item 6 on the certificate I had, and sure enough, in small type, it said that my husband’s death had been due to natural causes. And when I called back the benefits specialist, she said that was exactly what she needed. Whew! What had felt like a huge roadblock wilted into nothing.
Yet another Slice of Life Tuesday. Read more slices over at Two Writing Teachers,