Death Certificate

>> Thursday, June 18, 2015

There it was…in black and white…my husband’s name, birthdate and many details about his death.  It seemed surreal. But the raised seal representing the state of Washington and a “CERTIFIED” stamp completed the form at the bottom. It was his death certificate.

In my naivety, I had not realized how many businesses would need to see that piece of paper.

I started with phone calls. A few companies took my word for it; removed his name and entered me as the account holder. But at the end of that first day of calling…from 10:00 in the morning to 4:00 in the afternoon, I had a list of places I needed to go to show them the death certificate.

Then there were the ones who said, “We will send you a form. Just have the current account holder fill out the top portion of the page and enter the new account holder at the bottom.” What part of dead did they not understand?

It was unbelievably draining to repeat the words regarding my husband’s death.

Yesterday I headed out…death certificate on the car seat beside me…to convince certain businesses that his name no longer belonged as the account holder. The average length of time at each company was one hour. The initial person I spoke with did not have the authority to do anything, so I was passed up the line.

In my robot-like state, I did it without tears.

The last place was a credit union. After explaining the situation repeatedly, I was taken into a separate room to meet with an officer of the establishment. He made several phone calls. The death certificate lay on the desk in front of him. The final word was that since we had a loan through them, even though my name was also on the loan, his name could not be removed from the account until the loan was paid.

“I’m the one responsible for making the payments. What is the rationale for leaving it in his name?” I received no satisfactory answer.

Tears filled my eyes. Profuse apologies were extended. I climbed in my car and proceeded to suffer a meltdown. It was several hours before I climbed out of that pit and could focus on the promise below.

Praise songs are filling the air as I type these words.

“You did it: You changed wild lament into whirling dance; You ripped off my black mourning band and decked me with wildflowers. I’m about to burst with song….” Psalm 30:11-12 (MSG)


Unknown June 18, 2015 at 12:28 PM  

Thanks for letting us walk that path with you. Funny, I haven't been able to take John's contact info off of my phone yet. It took me a long time to take my brother's off too. Love Ya! Paul

Joy Bach June 18, 2015 at 12:50 PM  

See. He is still here. I'm leaving in the morning to go to John Day to the motorcycle rally. Taking some ashes for them to scatter on Dooley Mt. Love you

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