On November 21,2021 I lost my husband of over 61 years, Paul, to Alzheimer’s. He fought for over five years with me as his sole caregiver. Even though you know what is coming, it is still a shock when your loved one passes away. Then the guilt sets in. If you don’t fight that horrible feeling of guilt, it will destroy you.
Add to that all the unexpected problems that arise immediately. Your bank lies to you telling you that Social Security has ordered them to put a six month hold on
your spouse’s last check. Then one Life Insurance company delays payment of your claim for over three months stating that they are investigating your husband’s death. The Death Certificate sent to them plainly stated he died of complications of Alzheimer’s. Then there is the fight with your Medicare Part D carrier over continuing to take his monthly premium out of your bank account even though he has passed
away and you did not choose them for your own Part D for the next year. Then there is the leak in the roof that has to be replaced. What am I supposed to use for money when the bank is holding his Social Security and the life Insurance won’t pay?
Within three months three other friends became widows. Alzheimer’s was either the primary or the secondary cause for all of them.
One widow in Tucson had problems with her bank over Social Security and other problems the bank itself caused. Then there was the problem of her Medicare Supplement and Part D
coverage. This was covered under her husband’s retirement package which gave her both of these coverages for HER life. It took six months to straighten out, six months that she
was not covered. Add needing to do a bunch of emergency repairs to her house and you have a lady under enormous stress.
Another friend in Tucson became a widow three weeks after I did. She, her husband and I and my husband had become best friends when we all lived in Colorado. We continued to be friends after we all moved away. Her husband was retired military. Between feelings of guilt; bank problems (not the same as mine ) ; Social Security problems ; military retirement pay problems; life insurance problems; her refrigerator, washer and dryer all suddenly needing to be replaced the day after her husband died you have a VERY stressed-out lady who is all
alone with no family or friends (they seemed to have disappeared after her husband became ill) close by.
Another friend here in Kingman lost her husband three weeks after my husband died. She too had many problems (why does your house fall apart right after your husband passes away?)
and a lot of stress.
None of the other three widows knew each other. I was the link between all of us. I was able to help all of us compare problems and solutions. This not only helped me, trading information
helped each of us. Not just on the physical and financial things, but on comparing what each of us was going through so that we each knew we were not alone in these things and that we
we’re not each going crazy.
We are all doing “better “, we are at different stages and have each arrived there in different ways. There is no one size fits all in grief. It helped us to know what had happened to each
other and how those problems were solved which helped us from all facing the same problems on our own.
A few weeks ago, another friend in Kingman became a widow. I was immediately able to give her some information that helped her and saved her a lot of time.
We have been able to talk about our grief, pain and feelings of guilt. Some of us cried, some cried a lot and some were unable to cry at all. Talking about our shared problems helped each and every one of us.
Those of us here in Kingman are thinking about starting an unofficial grief support group so we can help other widows/widowers avoid the problems we had to deal with. Some of us have tried some of the “official groups” at churches and elsewhere and felt they just were not what we were looking for.
If you would be interested in such a group, please contact Sandee firstname.lastname@example.org.