When The Unthinkable Happens

by Jodifur on February 13, 2013

I have a terrible habit of going to bad places in my head.  Like if Doug is running late and doesn’t call, and he doesn’t do this often, I’ll think about what if something happened to him, like he was in an accident.  I don’t do it often anymore, and I tend not to be a terribly anxious person.  But when we first started dating he was late all the time.  And thankfully I cured him of that, because I told him it drove me absolutely crazy.  And now with the invention of cell phones he is good about calling or texting if he is running late, but still, sometimes the metro gets stuck or things happen, and then my mind goes to those terrible places.

I like to think that I would be strong and gracious and that I would get through what I needed to get through.  That I would raise Michael and carry on.  But truthfully, I would probably be a mess.  My mom once gave me the best piece of advice I ever heard which was “you get through in life what you have to.”  And that is so true.  I wouldn’t have a choice.  I would want to curl up in a ball and never come out, but I would have to.

I recently made Doug write down everything I would need to know to pay the bills.  Because he pays all of our bills online and if something ever happened to him I would have no idea how to get into any of our financial accounts.  And that is a really terrible stupid way to live.  And we have wills, and living wills, and trusts, and all the legal documents you need in case something bad happens but we didn’t have the very simple this is how you pay the water bill document.

Of course, I hope to never need this information.  I never want to need this information.  But now I have it.  And it is one less thing to worry about.



This post was inspired by Saturday Night Widows by Becky Aikman. After being kicked out of her widow support group for being too young, Becky creates her own support group with an unusual twist. Join From Left to Write on February 14 as we discuss Saturday Night Widows. As a member, I received a copy of the book for review purposes.  Above link is an affiliate link.


Elaine February 13, 2013 at 8:14 am

Too true! I’m the same way. And Ed and I had the same convo about bills. Ack. We used to rotate who paid them on an annual basis. Once I started nursing Connor I told Ed I was the minister of nutrition so he had to be the finance minister, and shhh…I stopped nursing babies years ago but he’s never made me take the finance minister job back.

Mel February 13, 2013 at 10:43 am

I am the same way. We still have to make the bills document, but we have everything else in place. It makes me feel ill to think about these things.

Hope February 13, 2013 at 12:39 pm

We don’t even have wills or living wills! My goodness, I feel guilty every time I think about it. We still haven’t figured out who would take our daughter if something happened to both of us and that’s been holding it all up. I really need to sit down and hash it all out.

Jennifer Wolfe February 13, 2013 at 2:00 pm

Your mom’s advice is so true, and it happens over and over in my life to varying degrees. I’m glad you learned how to pay your bills-that sense of empowerment will help to quell your anxiety.

marathonmom February 13, 2013 at 2:14 pm

Oh that is so me. I would have no idea how to pay anything…..all the passwords are encrypted sanskrit…..luckily a lot is on auto pay but still. The other day I had to rollover a 401K of MINE and I couldn’t even answer the questions bc hubbie does all that! Sure that guy thought I was a real winner!

Brenda Bartella Peterson February 13, 2013 at 2:40 pm

Great post. There’s a wonderful site called http://www.getyourshittogether.com that leads you through everything you need to do to prepare your family for losing one spouse or the other. Having been widowed twice, I understand too well how important it is to “have your shit together.” Thanks for reminding everyone.

Alicia S February 13, 2013 at 3:59 pm

My sister is a lot like you, she worries about everything. I always tell her, “Don’t trouble trouble until trouble troubles you!” But it’s hard to stop. I used to work at a funeral home and it was so sad sometimes to see the spouse that was left behind be so lost, not knowing how to write a check, or where to pay their mortgage. I am so glad you are preparing yourself for that. It’s better to do so than to just stick your head in the sand and hope for the best because eventually someone or something will rudely pull your head out of the sand and you will have to face it. Excellent post and I love what the book inspired you to write about!

Dawn February 13, 2013 at 4:10 pm

You raise an excellent point; in my family the situation is reversed: I’m the one who knows the bills paid and the passwords/accounts. If something were to happen to me my husband would be screwed. Thanks for giving me the nudge to have this awful, awkward conversation because it would be hard enough with me not being there; let’s not add extra financial stress to the equation.

Thien-Kim February 14, 2013 at 2:40 am

Oh-oh, I better tell hubby my password so he can pay the bills!

kari weber February 16, 2013 at 1:33 pm

Just a note to say when I click on the link Brenda left above… it does NOT take one to the site mentioned… Just saying.

My husband would be the one lost, as I do EVERYTHING around the house. I pay the bills, I do the grocery shopping, I raise the kids, feed, launder, etc. I even deposit his checks. I know! I know! What does HE do?? But, I believe if the time came, he would fill the shoes I left behind. However, a little organization and help is a good idea. You have inspired me to start boot-camping my husband into responsibility!

Kristin February 22, 2013 at 9:06 am

I tend to let my mind “go there” too, and it has roots in my childhood. If my dad was late getting home, my mom, sisters, an I were POSITIVE his pickup was in a ditch somewhere. Old habits are hard to break! My husband had a late event this week down allll the way around the Beltway, and I hadn’t heard from him and it was 11pm. I checked local news sites for traffic and accidents. At least I didn’t text/call him obsessively! And, in fact, he was fine.

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