As I started down this path of rebuilding my life without my wife, I had nothing but good intentions. Clear up some things that needed to be done so that I didn't have to keep revisiting this chapter over and over again. It seemed simple. Change names on bank accounts, close out credit cards, update insurance policies. I jumped into the financial morass quickly and with a fevered pitch. Filing this or that. Organizing what I had to do next was a way of compartmentalizing the thing I couldn't tolerate being true. I told people I didn't get angry over my wife's passing, but I got angry with CVS when they kept putting me through the wringer on changing the name on our Extra Care account so the emails didn't come saying "Hi Christine". They offered to close the account, I was insistent that wasn't appropriate. I argued with a credit card company over allowing me to hold the account rather than close it but change it to me as the owner. That they could check my credit and approve me for the card but just keep the account we had held open. All these things were distractions, I got a few small victories but most of this went the way you would expect, new accounts the old ones closed.
Then came the fact that CVS did exactly what I wanted them to. They changed the name on the Extra Care account to me. In that moment, I thought I had won. The next day an email came still with my wife's name. They said that the system had about 14 days of emails already in the queue so it would take a bit before I would notice the change. 14 days to the day, got an email "Hi Anthony"....Damn! Tears ran down my face, I had cancelled my wife from another part of my life. How could I have let this happen? Wait a minute!! I made this happen... Seriously this was all me, I had no one else to blame or to point at. I sent 10 emails, made 5 or 6 phone calls. Yelled at some poor lady on the phone about how stupid it was to throw HIPAA in my face when the reality was that my wife no longer had the right for HIPAA protection! I did this.
3 days after this, I get a call from my lawyer telling me I should get the title on my house adjusted and that I should call him back to explain the process. Well that ain't happening folks. I would sooner remove my name from the house than hers. This was her house, no doubt about it. I wanted to move 10 years ago, but she loved it. I will likely never sell this house, I may buy another house somewhere, but this one I will likely never let go of. I can say that now of course, still raw from my loss still under 5 months. Truly though, I don't believe I could sell this house. It may look nothing like what she left me in a few years, but it will still be her house.
CVS isn't the only account that changed for me. I removed her from the bank accounts, although not from the mortgage, I removed her from the retirement accounts. I changed the beneficiary of my life insurance and my retirement accounts. The fever is gone now, I no longer feel the overpowering desire to deal with the finances and paperwork affiliated with her passing. It is hard though, I know, like I know nothing else, that part of that means the weight of this whole thing is starting to crash on top of me. The busy work that was a distraction is gone, and so I have started to slump a bit. Camp was a great way of pulling me forward for a while but now it is over and I have to start to figure out how to traverse the next few months without weekly or monthly targets laid down for me. I went from one distraction to the next, and for the next 90 days it is just work and home again. No more vacations, no more trips, no more paperwork that must be completed. I got it all done, I got what I asked for, but now I want the distraction back, I want to have to do it all over again, just to get buried in the busy work so I don't have to get stuck in my own head thinking about what I no longer have.
That said, I know I have to make things to do, find new things to keep me motivated. Make new targets, and achieve them. I am working on it, but at the moment I am just a bit depressed and ready for a break, but unfortunately there isn't a break from this.