February 24, 2015

Four weeks

The last four weeks have been a whirlwind.  Here's some of the things that happened:
  • When I got the call, at 1130 PM, that Bob had passed away, I was told I had 4 hours to get his body moved.  I was in shock, Bob and I had been joking that day, and he had been planning for the future.  But, 4 hours!
  • Ten years ago we did a Family Trust and part of that included Advance Directives and our wishes for after death.  This made my task so easy.  Bob wanted to be cremated and buried at the Riverside National Cemetery.  He also wanted no service, just family members present.  That's exactly what we did,  There were a flag folding and presentation, a 3 volley rifle salute, and some simple words.  This took place two weeks after his death, the mortuary took care of all the arrangements, but the National Cemeteries are so busy, up to 80 burials a day, that date was the soonest.
  • For the first two weeks, I really paced myself.  There were tons of tasks and notifications to be accomplished, but I didn't want to overdo and exhaust myself.  Plus, from being a caregiver and hospital visitor, my home had really taken a beating.  I'd been advised by one of my daughters that it really needed to be taken care of.  I did a deep clean; it was lots of work but rewarding.
  • The first notification was, immediately, to our daughters.  The next day I first called our wonderful Aunts, Vicky and Lorraine, then our sisters, and the final "relative" call was to my Dad's second wife.  Her response was, "What do you want from me?!"  I assured her that I didn't want anything; that I just wanted her to know Bob had died.  She's a horrible person and I don't need to contact her ever again.
  • While Bob was sick, I was his pharmacist.  Right after he died I gathered as many prescriptions and injection paraphernalia as I could find and boxed everything.  I was still finding more Rx stuff for the next 3 weeks.  I now have 5 medium size boxes of medical Rx to dispose of.
  • I also have 3 drawers of first aid supplies I want to give to someone.
  • One of the notifications was to the Pension Dept at LAPD.  They immediately withdrew the pension direct-deposit that had just been made.  I spoke to them today, and I should have my pension by April.  So I'll be without income for 3 months.
  • A man had been wanting to buy my car since last Autumn, he called me right after all this happened and I sold him my 9-year old car for a good/fair sum.  Now, I'm driving Bob's SUV.  No sense in having two vehicles when there's only one driver.
  • The past two weeks I've been going thru the closets and drawers and getting rid of clothing.  I got rid of a lot of Bob's clothing, but not all.  It's OK with me to have reminders around.  I found many brand new, still in plastic wrap, items of clothing, mainly pants and shorts.  I was really surprised.  Everything went to Goodwill, nine 32 gallon bags, so someone will have some nice duds.
  • I use "the office" for my sewing room.  There's actually a desk, a computer desk, printer stand, a bookcase and my sewing table in there.  About 7 years ago Bob purchased a used 4 drawer file cabinet and moved that in, also.  I really hated that file cabinet, I had a two drawer file cabinet, tucked away in the closet that worked just fine.  This week I emptied the 4 drawer and wrangled it out to the garage, I'll either give it away or donate it.  
  • We received a letter from Anthem Blue Cross, addressed to Bob.  It essentially stated that they were told by Medicare that Bob was dead, and extended their condolences.  But, they stated, is this info is incorrect, let us know.  
That's what I've been doing this past four weeks.  There's still lots to do, but nothing is urgent.  This week I have a couple of appointments and I'm going to the Parkinson's Support Group, to lead Tai Chi.  Next week I'm going to start teaching Tai Chi, again, and I hope to start a quilt.  Not much sewing has been going on.  But, it will be good to get back into a routine.

The photo was taken on Bob's 70th birthday, 4 1/2 years ago.  If you'd like to know more about Bob, here's the link to his obituary.
Thanks for stopping by and sharing my life with me,


  1. Oh Jan, I am so sorry for the loss of your beloved Bob. Please know you and your family have my deepest sympathy.

  2. I'm glad to hear you're getting back to your routine, keeping busy helps get through the bad parts. I've heard there are places that take prescriptions to give to people who can't afford them, I don't know what your plans are but that's a good way to help others out.

  3. Hey, Jan - I just read this (nearing the end of March)... It sounds like you have handled everything perfectly. Good for you and Bob for making your preparations ahead of time. I'm sure it has gone much more smoothly and less traumatically than what my uncle's wife is going through. He died unexpectedly with no will and everything was in his name, so she has nothing until probate is done with. Very sad. I know you miss him, but I'd say that last gift of having everything planned out was a great gift indeed.


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