I started a notebook to keep track of who I had talked to, when I had talked to them, what details about the situation and when I received paperwork back from them or checks that were deposited.
After a few pages I decided I needed to make a table of contents at the beginning of the notebook to be able to find the pages easily as I talked to different people over time.
Over the next few posts will be each of the people I contacted and the places that I needed to work with. My father-in-law and my dad both worked with me a lot by helping me fill out papers and drop things off. They also knew the names of people to contact which saved me some time. Every time I had to talk to somebody I had to relive the whole thing over again. I had to give details of the time he died, what he died from, if it was accidental or not, and some places I had to argue with.
I'm very thankful that I live in a small community and that many of the companies I talked to I was able to actually speak to people I knew. I know that made the whole thing a lot easier than if I lived in a big city. Most of the people I was working with knew Steve personally.
I found most people to be sympathetic and wanting to help. I also found that it took a tremendous amount of energy to do the paperwork part of this. I ended up taking time off of my job to be able to contact some of the companies and go to certain places that were only open during the school day.
It was frustrating to not know what I was talking about and to not understand some of the language that the places were using. I didn't know what type of policy we had for insurance if it was whole life or not, I didn't know which companies were in my name and which ones were in his name and I had to find all of those documents before I could make phone calls. Luckily I'm pretty organized and knew where most of the stuff was. I'm also thankful for the internet where I was able to find information, answers to my questions and phone numbers for places that I needed to call.
The other confusing part was knowing a time frame of who needed to be contacted when and if I was waiting too long or not waiting long enough before making the second or third contact. I kept wishing there was somebody like a wedding planner who would come and do death planning because there's so much paperwork, so many emotions, and too many things to do on my own that I couldn't let somebody else help with. If somebody could have come in, with even a check list in order of who to contact, it would have been amazing.
Part of the reason I started this blog is because a friend recommended that there needs to be something out there for people that are going through the same situation I've gone through. I'm not an expert by any means, but I feel I can share my story and hopefully it helps somebody go through this horrific situation.