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It's Life

Becoming a widow

October 13, 2017

Widow…..its a word that I never thought I would ever have to call myself. I never dreamed that I would be a widow in my 30’s. I mean we had a full life ahead of us. We were married for 10 years and frankly we were just starting to get the hang of the married life. I know…..after 10 years we finally understood each other well enough. Took us a minute but we were proud of how far we came. Nowadays it’s tough being a widow because now people look at you as if you have a disease. No longer are you invited out to couple things, the friends you had as a couple disappear as if they never knew you, and as a newly single person you thrusted into this world of being a single mom. I am thankful that I had a good mixture of married friends and single friends so that I wasn’t totally by myself but it was still tough when you are no longer invited to girls night out with your use to be married friends. Grief is hard…..when people mention my husband I usually laugh it off and say oh you are fine and they are because honestly saying oh I’m sorry about your loss doesn’t get any easier no matter how many years pass by. We all grieve differently. I am use to deaths as I have been to more funerals than I have been to weddings so grief is not a foreign word to me. I don’t normally cry or go crazy when someone tells me that someone has passed because I am use to it. I have 0 emotions sometimes and I wonder why that is. When my husband died I went into getting things done mode….I shed some tears but honestly after I  lost my mother…..grief and tears become a part of life that I somehow got use to.

There are some things though that you need to know and prepare for just in case you ever find yourself down the road of being a widow. Let’s talk about some things you need to have in place

Life insurance – GoFundme is not life insurance. I wrote a post about this a while back. Have life insurance in place. My husband didn’t have life insurance. When he died my first thought was OMG how am I going to pay these bills and keep a roof over our head. I wasn’t prepared to lose him at such a young age so I never thought that life insurance was a must have. Now I know and my kids and I have it. Life insurance is not a bad word and it needs to be in place no matter how young or old you are. Get life insurance even if it’s just the basics. I wasn’t working when my hubs died so I was more worried about where we would live vs anything else. Thankfully I had enough money saved in reserves to pay for about 3 months of rent and his job went above and beyond to make sure we had everything we needed for the first few months. I was able to take those few months and get a plan in place for what I needed to do next and when I tell you all I moved….I moved. I could not sit still and cry because I had to figure things out and quickly I only had enough to last for a few months and time goes by quickly.

Make sure you know about important passwords – My hubs was kind of secretive. I knew some stuff but didn’t know a lot of his passwords to his emails or even to his phone. Thankfully the phone was in my name and I was able to get them to reset it for me to be able to login. I know that some married couples don’t want to tell everything some of y’all be hiding stuff in your phones but as a couple you have to put that shat aside and be able to have access to things. I could not get into several of my hubs emails to take care of bills or important stuff. I was able to reset some things (thank goodness he had things set up to his cell phone number where they could email me reset pins and stuff). My son could not play the xbox because I didn’t even know my hubs had a whole other email address just for his video games. I did have the passwords to the bank accounts but other than that I was lost as hell. If you are married you will have to share those passwords….or have a general account where all the important bills go to so that you don’t have to be wondering how to pay stuff or what is the balance of things. In case of an emergency communicate how you will access private information

My hubs and I didn’t have anything together thank goodness. We were renting a home which was in his name so that was no problem. I handled that by not telling the leasing people that he passed until I had everything in place. I continued to pay the rent as usual so that I could handle things. Sometimes you have to keep your mouth shut! I also did this with his bank accounts. It’s not wise to do this but I had to do what I had to do. He did not have a will so automatically everything came to me and I was appointed power of attorney. I had that in writing because you know how family can be…..I was able to access that fairly easily because I already lost my mom and had to handle her affairs so I knew what to do. I didn’t shut down any bank accounts and kept them open so that I could access his last paycheck. Speaking of bank accounts make sure you both have an account with your names on it. I had my own account and he had a separate account but we had a joint account. People will send you checks and you may get things later on that has his name on it and you will need to be able to deposit. Keep an account open for a while. I kept my moms account open for about 5 years after her death just in case I got something later which I did btw…it was 3 years after she died I received a check from a car she had sold back to the dealership and they couldn’t find her and the check kept going from house to house until it finally arrived to me.

Here are a few other things you need to have in place now so that you can always be ready

  • Don’t put student loans in both of your names. If he has student loans those bad boys will be buried with him and you will owe nothing. Don’t let them tell you that you are responsible either because it’s a lie unless you both were on the loan docs
  • Have death insurance on your car insurance the car people won’t tell you this but if someone has a car and they die the car insurance people can cut you a check for that person to help pay for the car….get it on your car now. I didn’t know this until after my mom died and I couldn’t pay her car note and someone asked me if I had the insurance on the car for death and I was like whaaaaaaa
  • Have insurance on your home so that you can pay for it in case someone passes
  • Anything that has your name on it jointly you will be responsible for. Thank goodness I didn’t have to deal with that

Becoming a widow has been tough but thankfully I knew all about that single motherhood life since I was a child of a single mother. I was able to step into action with no problems since I was use to living that life. Things will not get easier and there will be certain holidays you will hate. The best advice I can give you is to surround yourself with good people who understand you and find like minded folks who understand if you just need a moment to yourself. I pray that none of my friends become widows anytime soon because it sucks.

 

  • Reply
    Amanda
    October 13, 2017 at 11:58 am

    Thank you for this! My dad died relatively young earlier this year so I’ve been watching my mom go through a lot of these same things. I’ve got my own little one so between her experience and yours, this gives me a lot of advice to prepare in case someday we’re in the same position.

  • Reply
    Stacie @ Divine Lifestyle
    October 13, 2017 at 3:21 pm

    I hope I never have to be a widow. I’ve never thought about how being a widow would affect me on a social level. I can see how people’s reluctance to invite a widow to couple event would add to that feeling of being alone.

  • Reply
    Angela Tolsma
    October 13, 2017 at 7:26 pm

    Oh gosh so much of this is just WOW. I am thankful that I worked in the backing industry because it taught to me do alot of these things, but I know so many friends that are married and just don’t have things in place. You never think it will happen to you but it does.

  • Reply
    Kayla Uimari
    October 13, 2017 at 7:37 pm

    This is such a powerful post that I’m sure a lot of grieving women need. Thank you for sharing this, even the personal writing you include. Very inspirational

  • Reply
    Liz Mays
    October 13, 2017 at 7:50 pm

    I can see how so many responsibilities falling on you at once at such a difficult time would be stressful. It’s not something I’d normally like to think about but preparing for the unexpected is probably a good idea.

  • Reply
    Theresa
    October 13, 2017 at 10:09 pm

    These are all really great points. I especially agree about getting life insurance and not relying on Go Fund Me. I saw a family begging in the streets for money last summer to help pay for their grandma’s funeral. Surely a grandmother would understand the importance of having her final expenses covered so her family didn’t have to resort to begging in the street after her passing. It just didn’t sit well with me and I make it a point to tell all of my loved ones they better get that life insurance so we aren’t scrambling when their time comes.

  • Reply
    Pam
    October 14, 2017 at 12:35 am

    Life insurance is so important but people don’t like to think about it. It just makes things easier on loved ones.

  • Reply
    Karen Morse
    October 14, 2017 at 12:50 am

    I really admire your for your strength and how you handled things when your husband passed. I think it’s really important that we think about life insurance. It could really help a lot especially if you have children to take care of.

  • Reply
    travel blogger
    October 14, 2017 at 1:09 am

    I am so sorry for your loss. It has to be so hard to take on everything by yourself. My father died when I was a kid, and I remember my mother being totally lost and unsure if we could even pay half of our bills. I had no idea there was such a thing as death insurance on a car. I will definitely have to check into that.

  • Reply
    AnnMarie John
    October 14, 2017 at 1:11 am

    I cannot imagine losing my husband like this, which is why I admire your for sharing your story and giving people who are dealing with some strength. I got really affected when I lost my mother. I think the pain never goes away, you just learn how to live with it more. These are very good tips.

  • Reply
    Kristi
    October 14, 2017 at 1:36 am

    Thank you for your strength and sharing your heartfelt thoughts on this. Nobody is really prepared for being a widow but we can all take the steps you mentioned and make things a tiny bit easier if we find ourselves there.

  • Reply
    Carol Cassara
    October 14, 2017 at 1:38 am

    I would definitely have a difficult time if I ever lose my husband. It would be something that I’m not sure how I can deal with. I really appreciate you sharing your experience. We both have life insurance and we make sure we’re up to date with the passwords.

  • Reply
    Erica
    October 14, 2017 at 2:31 am

    I saw your title and my stomach just clenched. I worked for a dating service for some time and occasionally spoke to a young widow. It was horrible. And I can’t believe your married friends have stopped inviting you. Some people just don’t know how to react so they distance themselves. Totally unfortunate. But great advice. I’ve talked a little about passwords but we really need to write them for each other. And life insurance is so important if you have kids. I’m glad you were able to pull through after his death without it. And I’m glad you have it now.

  • Reply
    Maria Carbone
    October 14, 2017 at 4:17 am

    No one wishes to be in your shoes Kita. But you make so many of use proud to be who you are and how strong you have become.

  • Reply
    Terri Steffes
    October 14, 2017 at 4:33 am

    SO much to think about and do. My husband and I have gone through most of this and are pretty set but the password thing is something we haven’t done. I will start making my list now. Thank you.

  • Reply
    Dogvills
    October 14, 2017 at 7:01 am

    My mom became a widow at 54 years old. Even if they were married close to 30 years, my mom was devastated. We had to go through a gazillion documents to find my dad’s insurance policy. It was a huge learning experience, and a wake up call for all of us. We do have life insurance, me and my siblings, and my mom too. My husband and I have a notebook where we keep all our passwords. Important documents are in a safety deposit box in the bank.

  • Reply
    Joanna @ Everyday Made Fresh
    October 14, 2017 at 2:48 pm

    My heart goes out to you. I can’t even imagine how I would function if my husband passed away. Like you I have been to more funerals than weddings. My family is all older than most, because my parents had me at ages they were also becoming grandparents to their first born kids. So my grand parents were the ages of great grand parents. I’ve seen a lot of caskets in my childhood. Unlike you though I am wrapped with emotion and wear it on my sleeve. I would like to think we would have everything ready and planned out, but I know that it’s not true. My husband was just let go this week at his job, and we have zero savings. It’s a mess. We are losing insurance and life insurance. But we are podding along. Thanks for the tips on the death insurance for the car. I had no idea about that!

  • Reply
    Yona Williams
    October 14, 2017 at 7:38 pm

    I’m sorry to hear that you lost your husband so young. In general, I learned a lot from this post. For starters, I had no clue about the death insurance on the car. That’s good to know.

  • Reply
    Jessica Joachim
    October 15, 2017 at 11:48 am

    I am, so sorry for your loss. I don’t know what I would do without my husband. WE do have life insurance through his job, but he is so protective about passwords that I would have a hard time with that. Every one is different and none of them make sense.

  • Reply
    Arlene
    October 15, 2017 at 3:11 pm

    Thank you for all your tips. This is so helpful and I learned a lot things I didn’t know. I will be doing a few because you never know what can happen. I am sorry for you loss.

  • Reply
    Terri
    October 15, 2017 at 6:06 pm

    This post is a reality check. I never thought about how death could affect you socially. And I had no clue about death insurance on a car. Clearly, there a lot of things my husband and I need to discuss especially now that we have a little one. Though i’m sure it was difficult, thank you so much for writing this.

  • Reply
    Kenya G. Johnson
    October 15, 2017 at 6:38 pm

    Great advice, especially about keeping accounts open with their name on it. We have pretty good Life Insurance policies but you’ve listed things here I hadn’t known about.

  • Reply
    LaShawn
    October 15, 2017 at 11:54 pm

    This is great advice. So many things I would never think of. Especially the part about knowing the passwords! That’s something I need to work on .

  • Reply
    Toughcookiemommy
    October 16, 2017 at 12:52 am

    I think this is a very important post. We often don’t want to have these conversations with our spouse but life can be uncertain and we are not promised tomorrow.

  • Reply
    Carissa
    October 16, 2017 at 1:44 am

    Great Advice!!! There are a lot of things here that I didnt know about, I like to think we have a lot of it together but we have some work to do!

  • Reply
    Mackenzie Jervis
    October 16, 2017 at 2:16 am

    This is so sad to think about so I’m sorry that you have to go through this. However, you are doing an amazing thing by sharing what you’ve learned through this difficult time. I’m thankful that my husband has such amazing life insurance through his job so that I know that if something happens to him we will be more than covered for a while. What I didn’t know though, was about the student loans. I have a good amount of loans piling up and I have been thinking of putting them in both of our names because I thought it would help. Now I’m not going to! I thought he would get them either way if something happened to me. Amazing tip!

  • Reply
    Flossie McCowald | SuperMomHacks
    October 16, 2017 at 2:20 am

    I am so very, very sorry for your loss. You are spot-on about all of this, though. My dad was two decades older than my mom and left her a widow in her early 50s, but he’d been preparing her from the day they married – making her pay all the bills, making sure they both (and even I, starting when I was born!) had life insurance, etc. and we have been very blessed ever since for his foresight. I hope others can learn from your words of wisdom in this post, though I wish you weren’t in a position to write them.

  • Reply
    Jennifer
    October 16, 2017 at 2:29 am

    First of all, I am so sorry for your loss and what you had to go through. Second, this post has some really great advice in it. I am definitely going to look into things, especially with the student loans.

  • Reply
    brianne
    October 16, 2017 at 2:14 pm

    Such a great and real article and thank you for sharing. I actually never thought about this and I hope i never become one, but you never know faith!

  • Reply
    Heather
    October 16, 2017 at 2:31 pm

    I’m so sorry you have had to navigate these hard topics in such an unexpected way. Thank you for using your voice to share your experience to help others. I never would have thought about making sure student loans are in our own names.

  • Reply
    Tiffany Haywood
    October 16, 2017 at 2:43 pm

    There are so many things I don’t think I would have even considered. My hubby is somewhat like yours was – he has his stuff that’s just his and most times I have no interest but to think that could be a hinderance in an emergency. This is a post I will be sitting down and sharing with him for sure. Thanks for sharing both your story and your lessons learned.

  • Reply
    Nellie
    October 16, 2017 at 3:46 pm

    wow this is incredible and amazing information every single wife should have. Since I pay the bills in the house I sat my husband down and shared all the passwords, bills and etc in a google doc so it’s easy to access. Death is a horrible, terrible thing but it happens and it’s best to be prepared for it.

  • Reply
    Blythe Alpern
    October 16, 2017 at 7:51 pm

    Great advice and so needed. I lost my mom almost three months ago to cancer. We knew she had a will, but there was so much we didn’t know because she didn’t want to talk about the fact that she might die. Honestly, we never thought she would pass so quickly. One day she went into the hospital and 5 days later she was gone. I have been telling all of my friends, make sure you know what your parents want and what your spouse wants. Make sure you know where things are and what is what. It makes the grieving process less stressful.

  • Reply
    Cindy Ingalls
    October 16, 2017 at 7:52 pm

    No one likes to think or talk about death, but it is a part of life. I think having these conversations are so important, as is having a support system around you when you lose your husband or wife. No one should have to go it alone.

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