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I have a question for everyone.  A woman who reads my blog emailed me.  Her husband is dying and she's been reading for a while.  She asked if there's anything that I wished I could have asked Jim, or wish that I had known, before he died (it was sudden, though we had a few hours before he died in surgery....yet neither of us had a clue that he would die).

I gave her my answer and told her that I'd post the question here and ask all of you.  If you'd known your spouse was going to die, what would you have asked him/her?  What do you wish you had known?

 

Or to those of you who knew that he/she was dying .... was there anything you wished you'd said, asked, known about?

 

My answer was in the financial department.  But I've also asked other widows who have mentioned knowing what the other person would want for a funeral/memorial.  Cremation or burial?  If burial, where?

Who should I trust to help me with finances or things around the house?

What does he want his children/future grandchildren to know about him?

 

So things like that ..... not really the "I wish I could've said goodbye, or I love you" one more time.  I think she's really looking for more of the practical issues of life as a widowed person.

Thanks so much for taking the time to help someone who will soon be in this very sucky club (though it does have amazingly wonderful members!).

:)

 

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If I had the "privilege" of prior knowledge, it would probably have been wanting to confirm his final wishes and to have him do a video of sorts for our son to watch as he got older. Maybe leave him a record of his desires or funny stories, memories ??? 

 

Who would he want to have me help w/ life after. 

 

I don't know ... I didn't have that luxury, I wish we had prepared personally. We had no life insurance, no mortgage insurance, he was the bread winner, it was horrible. 

As far as the insurance thing goes, I have a story on that one, regrets.  We talked about getting life insurance when we got married, then when Hannah was born (we did get the Gerber policy for her), but we kept putting it off, I had actually called and gotten quotes and everything a few weeks before Claire was diagnosed, we just hadn't followed through.  I have life insurance on me now for Hannah, once she was diagnosed she insisted that I get it taken care of.  I hate to look at it like this but the reality is that procrastination cost me the ability to buy Hannah and I a house...

They insured Claire after her dx? (sorry ... is that a rude question?) 

 

I mortgaged everything I could to stay in our house, fought for 4 yrs to do it ... 

I think you may have misread it, she insisted that there be a policy on me once she was diagnosed.  So I got a policy on me with Hannah as the beneficiary so that if she lost her second parent there would at least be financial means to facilitate her care.

i did misunderstand it ... sorry 

 

i just reread ... COST me the ability ... duh! yup! if I had only this, If i had only that ... i know


Since my husband died suddenly, the only thing I wished for was that I could have held his hand as he died. We did so much as far as talking about what to do if something happened. We did have life insurance, I think we were the only ones our age that had it...but I grew up with a family that always had life insurance no matter what age.

There were things of course that we touched on that at times I wish I had talked to him more about but they were just things like - where do you want your ashes...I figure I can pretty much figure that out on my own. The dresser probably wouldn't be his first choice but I'm working on it...

I think the most important thing is just to say 'I love you'.

While he is still alive, they can refinance their house, and a week or so later they will get independent offers for small "no medical exam" life insurance policies tied to the mortgage. It is completely legal to take advantage of these and I wish I had done it. (Don't ask me why I didn't). Not a lot of money, but enough to make a BIG. BIG. BIG. difference...

I'd max this out even if he has conventional life insurance. One never knows! 

Yes, it is normal to feel it is blood money, no, you are not capitalizing on it, no, money doesn't make anything "better." But avoiding foreclosure ... anticipating how much you will spend on takeout when you've lost the ability to keep house or cook ... is actually valuable and she deserves it.

I had such a hard time with the feelings that what I received was blood money. Then the practical side kicked in and I remembered why we got it in the first place...We got this policy prior to him becoming a pilot because after that - it would be 10x more expensive for us. We planned. We planned for the just in case situation that we thought would never happen. He even said at one point - "This is for you and for whatever family we have in the future". Whatever someone can do prior to death - whatever that stage is - will be helpful in the long run.
I totally wish we had done that. I fought off foreclosure once, had another one coming and am hoping that the current short sale on our house is approved or it will be foreclosed on the beginning of February. My son and I have been surviving on $1800 a month. CRAZY!!!

You know I don't think of life Insurance as blood money, It's a gift, both of us worked hard and payed the bills so the surviving one of us  would be taken care of. I cought KC talking to one of his friends about selling his stuff and how to get the best price out of it. He said he wanted to make sure I had everything I needed. I told him that nothing was leaving this house unless he did, And then maybe it still wouldn't. I felt like if I started getting rip of his things I would be giving up. I can honestly say I was fighting him leaving right up to his last breath, but the night before I sat with him and cried, I told him if he could no longer fight, and was tired of the pain, if he wanted it over I would understand,  I gave him my permision to let go with tears in my eyes ( inside my head I was just screeming at God that I didn't want him to take him.) I stayed with him that night and the next day. I held him until he was gone. I did all of it for him because I would of never stopped and that wasn't have been fare to KC. I no longer had to be strong, I couldn't be strong KC took so much of me with him when he left. I'm so sorry I just started running off at the mouth, and didn't stay on point very well either did I .

While Claire knew what was coming she wasn't willing to actually acknowledge it, so it made discussions like this difficult.  I completely understood, and didn't push it, and by those last few weeks she wasn't really up for it anyway.  I absolutely do not regret all the time we spent doing things as a family and taking lot of pictures so that Hannah would have memories, I've made some of them into a series of Hannah's Adventures books and still have a bunch more I need to make.  I'd have loved for her to have made Hannah a video, actually talking to her for her to watch down the line, but ideas like that were not received well, even when suggested by the hospice social worker, because they involved accepting that death was coming.  As far as for me, it boils down to her material possessions, collections, clothes, books, I wish she'd conveyed to me which items it was important to keep for Hannah and which ones she'd want other people to have.  Not only would it have made it much easier for me (being as everything is pretty much still where it was) but it would have given me something to do and to focus on, I really would have been able to in those first few weeks afterwards, to pack up boxes and send them off, and start to diminish the clutter of stuff that still overwhelms me.

Peter, so what have you decided to do with her things? I know I am not ready to make that decision yet. I want to leave things just the way that he left them. However, I have let it cross my mind how other have dealt with it. I had a friend say that she took his favorite clothes that she remembered him wearing and made it into a blanket. I think that is a great idea. So, I am curious about how you have dealt with that part of it. 

 

Also, I relate to the part where you said you wish you had life insurance. We had done the same. I am an RN and told him that he had high blood pressure and I was SURE of diabetes. I asked him to keep his diet under control and we would call our CPA in who sells life insurance and purchase some. He did not control his diet after begging him and the opportunity was lost when he finally had to go to the Dr and guess what- was diagnosed with diabetes and hypertension. So, I am still upset with him about that part of it. It left a financial strain on me and I had to now get out of school because I have bills to pay. I wanted life insurance for myself also in case I had an accident of any sort. I didn't want him to be having to go back to work to pay bills when he should have been allowed to grieve- which is what I had to do. I was not nearly ready to go back to work when I did. It was difficult and wish things had been handled differently. 

 

I think it is awesome that you have made books and adventures for your daughter. I hope all is well in your life. 

 

Kimberly 

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