Phone Calls and Hoops

person using black iphone
Photo by cottonbro on

I’ve been using my cell phone a lot lately. I’ve been calling the employee benefits line where Peter once worked and his insurance company.  See, I’m still waiting on his pension and life insurance.  I don’t think either wants to loosen their grip on the money. And it’s difficult because, not only I have no control over the outcomes of every phone call, but Peter was the main provider. Oh sure, I have money in savings, but I worry it’ll run out by the time I get his pension and/or life insurance. My brain knows this probably won’t happen, but my anxiety didn’t get the memo. I didn’t even think this when Peter first died, but that was before all the hoops I had to jump through, and still jump through, and will continue to jump through.  Now, my legs are tired from so much jumping and boy oh boy, am I exhausted.

It’s harsh and maybe kind of cold to talk about money. I mean, Peter’s only has been dead for two days over six weeks. And in a perfect world, I’d agree. But I don’t live in a perfect world. None of us do. It is filled with policies and paperwork and finger-pointing, all which lead to phone calls after phone calls asking “what do I have to do now”?  They always have an answer.  I have to ABC, then it’s now do XYZ, and then, oh I meant 123.  It’s mind-blowing and my mind has already been left in shreds by Peter’s death. Not much left to blow up.

I think, in the beginning, I was seeking out answers to pension and life insurance because it gave me a sense of accomplishment and achievement. It was as a way to take control of something in this uncontrollable scenario.  In the beginning, there was a little feeling of victory with each phone call, only to be told something different via email or snail-mail. To think, early on, I really thought I had conquered, in any capacity, the world of pension and insurance.  Yes, I was naive. Terribly naive. Okay, I was clueless.

In a small way, talking to these spokes in a very large wheel allowed me to hold on to the last bits of Peter. His savings and retirement planning were so much a part of Peter. He liked that he saved for our future. He liked his provider role and all that it meant, including a good future after he stopped working. He was proud of his saving abilities. I was proud of it, of him. And he worked hard, saved and planned for our retirement years. We all know how that went. He ended up not having a retired life. What do they say about best-laid plans? They get killed in an accident? No, that’s not it, but you get the picture.

The biggest issue with getting his pension and insurance is how Peter died. If he had a long, lingering illness, his death certificate would not be taking this long. But since he died suddenly, in an accident which appears to be no fault of his own, there was an extensive investigation which is delaying the final death certificate, which is delaying the pension and life insurance.  I mean, I kind of get the reasons, but id doesn’t make it easier. Like I said in a previous post, sudden deaths are harder on the survivors. Here goes another proof.

Look, it’s not just about the money. Sure, it will help and in a few months, maybe really help. And, if need be, I am strong enough, capable enough, intelligent enough, to figure out what I need and make it happen.  It does kind of piss me off Peter was killed in an accident he did not cause – from preliminary reports – and which ripped my family to threads, and still… well, still. But with all that aside, one of the biggest things I would like in all of this is closure. Now, I know I won’t have that for a long time, but it would be nice if a few doors start to shut. I don’t think that’s asking too much.

Someone told me to let it go and let it happen. Trying to control things, or being upset by the lack of control, doesn’t appear to be working for me so far. All it is doing is eating at my belly. She’s not wrong. Someone else told me, everything I expect right now will take three times longer.  Ouch for sure, but since she’s been here, done this, I have to take her word for it.  I have to think about what both of them are saying and try to chillax. Of course, that was another thing taken away when Peter died. What’s this chilling and relaxing everyone talks about? I think I knew about them a lifetime ago.

Bottom line, I should be learning life never goes the way you want. It’s unpredictable. It’s callous. It’s red tape and hoops. And right now, for me, it sucks. Yet, I need to find a way to navigate through it, not control it. I need to wake up from my naivety. The rose-colored glasses I wore because I am an optimist has been knocked off when Peter was knocked off his bike. And as harsh, and cold and wrong this may all seem, this is my reality…for now. Eventually, it will all come together. See, I keep holding onto those eventualities. Maybe there is still a little of me left.

Now excuse me, I have a phone call…oh, wait. No. No phone calls today.