Why don't they tell us???

Colleen

Senior Member
Location
Pennsylvania
Unless you've been through a death of a spouse or a loved one that you were responsible for getting all the ducks in a row for changes in banking, house, car, insurance, social security, etc., etc., etc., then each day is a new "surprise" of something that needs to be taken care of.

My husband passed away Oct. 13th and I'm still dealing with so many changes. Take today, for instance. I knew that the funeral home had filed his death certificate with the state, BUT, I didn't understand that I was supposed to go to the SS office and get things started. Why didn't they tell me that?? Maybe they did when I was there on the 14th to make funeral arrangements, but my mind was like mush and I was in shock.

If I hadn't been talking to a lady that lost her husband months ago, I'd still be sitting here wondering when I'd hear something from SS. Granted, I'm not the brightest bulb on the tree sometimes, but when you've been through a traumatic experience you just feel like you're in a fog and the clouds just aren't clearing.

I'm not blaming the funeral home. They were compassionate and kind but there should be an "extended" part of that service (IMHO) and that is to maybe contact you a week or two later and see if you've remembered to contact certain people/businesses (and especially SS). Maybe I'm expecting too much from people in today's world...IDK.

Just needed to vent.
 

Vent away. You are going through a lot. It must be so stressful. I’m glad some members living in your country can help you. Be extra kind to yourself.
 
I didn't understand that I was supposed to go to the SS office and get things started. Why didn't they tell me that??

I think my mom had the same experience as you when my father died, because before she died my mom emphasized to me (repeatedly) that I should inform the SS office.

Those lists above look really good, except I disagree with the one that said to close the deceased email accounts. I was really glad my mom's email was logged in on her ipad because I could use it to change her passwords on sites (such as, the 23&me site stopped showing my mom in my relative results and it turned out they had changed some policy and users had to confirm sharing. If I hadn't had her email access I wouldn't have been able to do a 'forgot password' to get into her account to confirm sharing).
 
Unless you've been through a death of a spouse or a loved one that you were responsible for getting all the ducks in a row for changes in banking, house, car, insurance, social security, etc., etc., etc., then each day is a new "surprise" of something that needs to be taken care of.

My husband passed away Oct. 13th and I'm still dealing with so many changes. Take today, for instance. I knew that the funeral home had filed his death certificate with the state, BUT, I didn't understand that I was supposed to go to the SS office and get things started. Why didn't they tell me that?? Maybe they did when I was there on the 14th to make funeral arrangements, but my mind was like mush and I was in shock.

If I hadn't been talking to a lady that lost her husband months ago, I'd still be sitting here wondering when I'd hear something from SS. Granted, I'm not the brightest bulb on the tree sometimes, but when you've been through a traumatic experience you just feel like you're in a fog and the clouds just aren't clearing.

I'm not blaming the funeral home. They were compassionate and kind but there should be an "extended" part of that service (IMHO) and that is to maybe contact you a week or two later and see if you've remembered to contact certain people/businesses (and especially SS). Maybe I'm expecting too much from people in today's world...IDK.

Just needed to vent.
Very sorry for your loss, all my condolences. I've lost son in 2017, it took me 5 years to recover. Then we were planning a to-do list for July 2022... Unfortunately, hubby died suddenly and unexpectedly in April 2022.

It's 18 months now and daughter and I have done loads from that to-do list, it kept us busy. Unfortunately, once more, I haven't heard a thing from doctors as to what happened.

I'm still waiting on replies but it seems that answering emails these days, is no longer a priority.
 
Very sorry for your loss, all my condolences. I've lost son in 2017, it took me 5 years to recover. Then we were planning a to-do list for July 2022... Unfortunately, hubby died suddenly and unexpectedly in April 2022.

It's 18 months now and daughter and I have done loads from that to-do list, it kept us busy. Unfortunately, once more, I haven't heard a thing from doctors as to what happened.

I'm still waiting on replies but it seems that answering emails these days, is no longer a priority.
I'm so sorry for your losses :( I know exactly how you feel about a sudden loss. It's a shock and it's devastating. Your world is turned upside down and it seems like it will never be "normal" again.

My husband had a sudden cardiac arrest. He was A-fib when they walked him out to the ambulance and went into V-fib in the ambulance while it was still parked in our driveway. I didn't know this until last week when I read the notes in his hospital records online. When I got to the ER, he was already on a ventilator and intubated. I asked the doctor if it was a heart attack and he said he didn't know what it was. Really??? Said they'd have to run more tests. What a bunch of crap.

I should have had my whit's about me and requested he be disconnected. We had talked about it many times and we both agreed not to let them prolong things. Getting a straight answer from the doctor might have given me some clue as to what was really going on. I also found out later that they shocked him 2 times in the ambulance. He had actually died twice but they brought him back. He was unconscious in the ER and I knew he was gone but no one would tell me honestly. He was shocked 5 times in all that day.

I have to live with the fact that I let them do unnecessary tests that meant nothing. It was his time to go and I should have let him go sooner. I pray he didn't know what was being done to him.

Good luck with the doctors. Personally, I don't think they like to admit they made mistakes or made the wrong decision. It would leave them open for lawsuits. I have an appointment with our family doctor next week. It was supposed to have been for both of us for 6 month check-ups, especially my husband because she knew he had a recently discovered heart murmur and plaque in the arteries. I want to ask her why she didn't send him to a cardiologist 6 months ago for evaluation.
 
Thank you. Very helpful. I did not think about his drivers license so this info helped :)
You're welcome, of course. I was hoping the articles would be helpful. Thank you for letting me know they were.
@hearlady @Rossana & Colleen. I have a paper here somewhere with 87 things one must do after someone dies. I thought I had a copy of it in my photos but can't find it. When I went to buy my burial plot, they had the papers on a table near the office entrance.
 
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Colleen I'm sorry for your loss. This is not about me it's about your post is exactly why I've taken the not so much fun task of outlining everything I could think of. Starting with extra death certificates for Soc. Sec. , Medicare, my previous employer & where our accounts are with the account numbers. All our assets, what needs to be done routinely for car & home maintenance. Setting up auto pay for utility bills, credit cards in my wife's name so she would never have difficulty with credit .

Our sons know where I keep that info in case we should both happen to go at the same time. All accounts in my name are 100% transferred into my wife's name
After we are both gone our sons know which law firm has the original will. In that list of assets is the credit card s accounts so those can be paid if any money is due before closing.
 
Funeral homes are required by law to notify SS once someone dies. I think a small death benefit is given if you apply and you get to take the higher of the benefit that both you and him are entitled to.

There’s so much to deal with at a horrible time in your life. Colleen it’s weird that your doctor didn’t refer your husband to a cardiologist based on the information you provided.
 
I'm so sorry for your losses :( I know exactly how you feel about a sudden loss. It's a shock and it's devastating. Your world is turned upside down and it seems like it will never be "normal" again.

My husband had a sudden cardiac arrest. He was A-fib when they walked him out to the ambulance and went into V-fib in the ambulance while it was still parked in our driveway. I didn't know this until last week when I read the notes in his hospital records online. When I got to the ER, he was already on a ventilator and intubated. I asked the doctor if it was a heart attack and he said he didn't know what it was. Really??? Said they'd have to run more tests. What a bunch of crap.

I should have had my whit's about me and requested he be disconnected. We had talked about it many times and we both agreed not to let them prolong things. Getting a straight answer from the doctor might have given me some clue as to what was really going on. I also found out later that they shocked him 2 times in the ambulance. He had actually died twice but they brought him back. He was unconscious in the ER and I knew he was gone but no one would tell me honestly. He was shocked 5 times in all that day.

I have to live with the fact that I let them do unnecessary tests that meant nothing. It was his time to go and I should have let him go sooner. I pray he didn't know what was being done to him.

Good luck with the doctors. Personally, I don't think they like to admit they made mistakes or made the wrong decision. It would leave them open for lawsuits. I have an appointment with our family doctor next week. It was supposed to have been for both of us for 6 month check-ups, especially my husband because she knew he had a recently discovered heart murmur and plaque in the arteries. I want to ask her why she didn't send him to a cardiologist 6 months ago for evaluation.
Hello @Colleen . You and me both. I find that it's easier for someone else to understand what we are going through when they've gone through it as well.

Ever hopeful, I expected that by the time daughter had come to pick me up and us getting to the A&E, that hubby would be unconscious in a bed with all sorts attached to monitor but still alive.

Nevertheless, I knew in my heart that what daughter had explained meant that hubby's soul had departed his body. The man I loved was gone...

When we finally got to see him, they were still working on him. However, I knew the signs. Rigor Mortis was there, plain to see and his body was already cold.

As with my own Papa, 49 years ago, I looked into my husband's eyes and noticed that when he fell face first, that his eye was crushed. I closed them as best I could. Unlike Papa's, hubby's left eye didn't.

I told the two nurses and doctor to stop trying. Hubby was just an empty shell. This was a different experience for myself as I never got to see Papa after he'd gone into the emergency room. I'd closed his eyes at home...

Nevertheless, it was shocking. Fortnight later, another shock via the nurse at local GP who had to be told. What she revealed to me, OMG! Once she realised by my reaction that he hadn't told me about this, she just clammed up.

I've heard nothing since... Deplorable... I got to speak to the coroner. I did argue a bit about the wording and finally got him to acknowledge that it was angina and stress that made his heart give up so suddenly. The coroner realised that I knew the difference between various heart attacks.

In my own family, it's all about "Coronary Thrombosis" with classic left arm pain indications. With my husband's family, it's pains across the chest and/or pains in the right side. Two days before the fatality, he'd complained of tightness in his chest and that his right shoulder was hurting.

I told him to go to the emergency but you know men stubborn to the end, he only took painkillers. I was hoping to discuss this with him, but he was busy with phone calls for those two days.

I was disappointed that the "in sickness and in health" part as he didn't told me the truth of the stress-causing situations and his health concerns. I would have been able to take charge of certain situations instead of dealing with them when I was supposed to mourn...

I'm exhausted but I'm in recovery mode now. Daughter and I are going forward. We've dealt with the problems and it's such a feeling of relief now. Twelve solid months but it's resolved.

The only thing ahead, peacefulness at last and remembering the good old days. It's been the usual timeframe of all others we've lost before, 18 months, but afterwards it isn't fantastic overnight granted, it just gets easier day-by-day.

Daughter and I are planning again and organising upcoming holidays for end of year celebrations. I miss chatting with him daily, we had such chemistry. I still feel half of me is missing but the way is forward.

Blessed be!
 
When my best friend Louis died a few years ago I helped him plan his funeral, etc. He wanted to be cremated so we filled out all the paperwork. They told us at the funeral home to get a lot of death certificates as they are cheaper to order then than after death. So we ordered 15 at $5.00 each instead of $45.00 each after death. I only had 2 left after he died. Of course he was very active before death and had several insurance policies and other things that required a death certificate so I was glad we had more than enough. I still miss him everyday but glad I was there for him as he had no other family. His beloved wife died and he had no children so I became his family.
 
Sorry for your loss.
Our local funeral home director is second generation. He is awesome for being helpful at a time that he knows you are fuzz-headed. He includes a checklist of "things to do" after a loved one passes away.
He even contacted the VA to have a plaque mounted on the back of Dad's monument for the time he spent in Korea.
 
Colleen- I know it is a LOT to go through.
I had an odd situation recently and thought I should mention it here today.There are other widows and widowers in this forum who might have had this upsetting experience.

Someone who I barely know shared with me that she is in severe debt and needs a lot of help ASAP.
She said she had no friends and will not tell her only relative. She said I am the only person who knows her problem.
She does make good money. She only knows me as a customer of a car dealership, who I go to for inspection and service
needs.

People can come 'out of the woodwork' looking for money when a spouse dies and you certainly sound TOO smart to deal with people like that , but sometimes it is people we know well- yet still I wonder how they get the nerve to ask a widow for money.

I had to call where she works last week to make an appointment for a small car problem I have. She spent a lot of time on the phone telling me this awful story about how critical her financial situation is. I have been dealing with this company for 2 decades, and she is the manager of their service department, but my appointment is today and I dread going to it. I certainly told her I will pray for her and I asked a minister friend of mine to pray for her too, but I know there is more to her situation and I will not offer her any cash.

My church helps those in need ,who belong to our church and also sometimes there is a need in my community, from non members and we all help them as much as we can.....but widows and certainly widowers too, have to really be careful of people who think they can manipulate us, to benefit themselves.

Stuff like this happened to me when I was newly widowed long ago ,and I know others still in grief, that it has happened to.

Someone even called me few days after, my husband died for some money. This was a former neighbor who had gotten a letter about my husband's life insurance by mistake , years before he died.

When I said I have no money to give to her, she said what about his life insurance policy, and reminded me she got the letter by mistake. I had not even thought about his life insurance policy. There seemed to be so many other things I Had to Do.

I used to do a radio show for disabled veterans and our "End of Life" shows were always popular because most disabled veterans certainly have concerns about what VA benefits their survivors might be entitled too.

I will certainly read over OneEyeDiva' s check lists because I know they might help many here.
 
Unless you've been through a death of a spouse or a loved one that you were responsible for getting all the ducks in a row for changes in banking, house, car, insurance, social security, etc., etc., etc., then each day is a new "surprise" of something that needs to be taken care of.

My husband passed away Oct. 13th and I'm still dealing with so many changes. Take today, for instance. I knew that the funeral home had filed his death certificate with the state, BUT, I didn't understand that I was supposed to go to the SS office and get things started. Why didn't they tell me that?? Maybe they did when I was there on the 14th to make funeral arrangements, but my mind was like mush and I was in shock.

If I hadn't been talking to a lady that lost her husband months ago, I'd still be sitting here wondering when I'd hear something from SS. Granted, I'm not the brightest bulb on the tree sometimes, but when you've been through a traumatic experience you just feel like you're in a fog and the clouds just aren't clearing.

I'm not blaming the funeral home. They were compassionate and kind but there should be an "extended" part of that service (IMHO) and that is to maybe contact you a week or two later and see if you've remembered to contact certain people/businesses (and especially SS). Maybe I'm expecting too much from people in today's world...IDK.

Just needed to vent.
No your not expecting too much! My mother was in your place, she never got out and didn't know how to put gas in the car, or pay the bills, etc. Talk to your church or bank and see if they have anyone who could help get you going. Or talk to your doctor, anyone who has a listening ear and is in the "know". That is what I do.
 
I don't know about your state, but Florida issues two kinds of death certificates: one with the cause of death and one without.

Different businesses may require one or the other. The life insurance company HAD to have one with the cause of death. The bank would not accept one WITH the cause of death. It had something to do with privacy. I had to make sure I sent the correct one or we'd be going around and around until I got it straight. Some places will accept a copy of the death cert; some have to have an original. Some will return the original to you; some won't.

So I got a bunch of both. If the gentleman at the crematorium hadn't told me about the different requirements, I wouldn't have known. He ordered them for me. I still had to pay for them but at least that was one more thing I didn't have to do.
 
Once again, I'm so sorry for your loss Colleen. Here's a list of things to do after a spouse dies. It's been a couple of week so maybe you've already done these.
Financial checklist: 13 things to do when your spouse dies
Here's another general list of suggestions, some of which may not be in the above linked article.
What to Do When a Loved One Dies

đź‘Ť ... in the moment it is a very difficult situation, to do things, who to contact first, and how to get all the right answers, all this while you are in a 'fog'.

It's been over 10 ears for me, and I don't remember all the details. It took a long month of calling, going places and sending/receiving documents.
I do remember having an issue with getting the death certificate signed by my husband's doctor. .. papers lost in the mail, and issues like that.

Social Security office was very helpful with moving things along when I visited their office. They told me beforehand what to bring when I came in ... things like our marriage certificate. They were able to switch me to my husband's SS account immediately.
 
No your not expecting too much! My mother was in your place, she never got out and didn't know how to put gas in the car, or pay the bills, etc. Talk to your church or bank and see if they have anyone who could help get you going. Or talk to your doctor, anyone who has a listening ear and is in the "know". That is what I do.
Thanks for the suggestion, however, I've been taking care of our finances, moving, doctor's appts., etc. for 26 years so getting all these changes done is not really anything new...it's just a different set of circumstances to deal with. I'm getting to the end of notifying everyone and I'm not as fog-brained as I was so days are getting easier.
 


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