I know I've not been heard from in quite a while; the major reason is that my husband was increasingly incapacitated over the past year or so and I was kept very busy. But the real thing I want to tell you about isn't as much about me as it could be about helping someone else whose spouse has been tortuously ill and dies. When Jerry passed away on January 14th of this year, he was released into the peace he needed and on the following Sunday he had a lovely service for which I am very grateful ... a great and personable minister, a throng of wonderful friends of his two oldest adult children (my step-children), a major turnout including my and Jerry's daughter, my closest friend, many other dear friends of mine who are fellow musicians, and some who are my fellow animal advocates. There was a lovely picture slide show and the service was glorious!
There is always "the day after" when I expected to feel whatever people feel on the day after. But it was only a few hours into that day before the onslaught began. There isn't a way I can politely describe the avalanche of medical bills from doctors I'd never heard of, as well as a few I had knowledge of having treated Jerry with treatments I hadn't approved of. I should refer to my late husband as Gerald as that was his preference in recent years. I dutifully paid each bill a day or so after its arrival, thinking that after a while it will be over.
It wasn't. It escalated. Weeks later, it became terrifying when I realized that the sizable amount of money that had been in Gerald's accounts was shrinking fast. I became scared and thought my life will not be worth living (or possible to live) and I started hating my overstuffed mailbox. I began calling the creditors and some of them said that if I pay the bill in full they will give a 20% discount. In those frenzied moments it sounded like they were giving me something. Not true, folks! Not true! And here is why:
My new attorney (whom I'd contacted to revise my Will and my friend's Will) told me yesterday that I've been paying bills for which I am not legally responsible. God bless him. Yes. A surge of hope went through me when he said that. You see, the lawyer I'd inherited from the legal group I'd had for years when my previous attorney left to do other things, did not tell me what I'm about to share with you. She appeared to be interested mainly in accessing control of my finances. Yesterday I learned that if a spouse dies leaving his widow with a P.O.D. on each of his savings accounts, with the house deed being in both names, the surviving spouse immediately gets these things and is not responsible for payment of the deceased person's personal and medical debts. Tennessee is not a community property state. When I found this out, I had already paid five-digit numbers of dollars and still had more bills coming in, demanding immediate payment. This morning I've had the freeing experience of telling-off two of the money-seekers. All they needed to get from me was my husband's date of death, with one of them requesting a copy of the death certificate. So ... they know ... but they don't tell us! Yes, this is what our health system has devolved into. It is big business ... and it's almost impossible to find a doctor who isn't owned by a corporation. Corporations have tentacles that reach into other corporations ... and there is a huge supply of people to initiate bills. So I've laid it out here, in the hope that what I've said here will help someone else whose spouse has recently died.
To end on a positive topic ... no, to have a new beginning of a positive topic, through all of this, the music kept me alive; I especially love watching the YouTube music videos of Beverly (Guitar) Watkins ... what a tremendous musician and personality; she passed a month or so ago, but her music lives on. Just Google her name and YouTube and my favorite video of hers is "Rock Me Baby"; it's done like you've never heard/seen before and it actually picks you up so wonderfully.
I'm interested in getting together with other musicians ... I've got the space at my house ... and my house loves to hear music. So does my dog :) He sometimes howls with music. Music has great healing energies. Music is the Universal language ... esoterically and literally ... those planets whirling around up there make music; and you may have noticed that when musicians are playing together, there is no racial strife, no worldly troubles, no politics, no negativity, just bliss :)
Peace and Joy.