Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Bereavement 101

For people unfamiliar with the American educational system such as it is, the title refers to the kind of course that beginners take in college at the start of learning a new field of knowledge. As usual of course, I can't help seeing a Monty Python take on this, oh well, some of us are hardwired to be frivolous.

But learning is happening around here. One thing I have learned in the endless meetings I have to have, in person and on the phone, with officialdom, where I have to announce HPs death yet again, is to start with: this meeting is very hard for me, bear with me. that puts the other people into a possibly sympathetic, possibly anxious, frame of mind, but it works better than just plunging in.

I got the meeting done at HPs bank yesterday, closed out his account, got a check to take this morning to my own bank where I want to open up the estate account, all of which is already owed to me, having picked up the slack since I couldn't access his funds recently. So I'll have ANOTHER meeting, proffering various documents and letters of whatever the surrogate calls them,but my skills are improving.

It's going to be another of those skillsets I hope never to use again, I can see it.

The Monty Python side of me can also see that bereavement is going to be a card I can whip out to drive people mad. I HAVE to be at the front of the movie line, I'm BEREAVED!!! whaddya mean, you're out of my shoe size? don't you know I'm BEREAVED?? and so on. But I think it has a limited lifespan before people start to catch on and say, wait, wasn't that ten years ago? back to the end of the line, lady.

I'm higher up on the roller coaster this morning, because I had a wonderful afternoon of playing music with the quartet, who welcomed me back, had kept a place for me all this time, and were nearly as happy as I was to see me back with them. And the huge luxury was that I had no need to be nervously checking the time to get back home for the respite person to leave.

Another close friend advised me to learn to stop wearing a watch, unless I had specific reasons for knowing the time, just to get out of the anxious habit of checking. I like this, but it's hard. It's in my pocket...can't quite leave it at home. But I wear a bracelet instead of it now. And I didn't look at my watch once during the music session, though I wore it to make sure I got there on time. So this is progress.

I actually have a very good sense of time, usually can guess the hour and minute without checking, which is a compensation for having no sense of direction at all, so I think I'll be checking my bracelet out of force of habit, and getting a good idea of the time anyway.


  1. forget the watch--your cel phone has the time--it's one less thing to carry. and it helps break the habit.

  2. I agree haven't worn a watch in 2 years, don't miss it. Glad that you are seeing humour in your situation

  3. And the companion book to "Bereavement 101" would be "Bereavement For Dummies". The "For Dummies" series being a do-it-yourself tutorial on topics ranging from cutting one's own hair to dating. "Bereavement For Dummies" would give insight into what to say to someone in mourning when you don't know what to say, thus averting the stupid, senseless, inhumane comments and questions. Should be required reading for anyone who has not yet experienced grief.- J. in Cowtown

  4. I'm glad you had a nice music afternoon - you really deserved a lovely music gathering.

  5. With a little sprinkle of mirth, all is lightened. It can't get better but it is easier.

    Thinking of you.

  6. So glad I spent all of my five minutes between chauffering assignments in here chuckling and nodding with you, Liz ... Progress sounds so good. Thinking of you often and send a hug across the miles every time.

  7. Good sense of elapsed time, no sense of direction! Are you sure we're not related? :) Good luck with your efforts to break those ingrained habits -- it's definitely worth doing.


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