Tuesday, 15 June 2010

The cheque is in the post

I had a cheque in the mail this morning.

That should be a cause for celebration, right?
Well normally it would, but this cheque was the first instalment of R's estate. Yes, 1 year, 10 months and 11 days after the day he died the loose ends are finally being tidied up.

So why has it taken so long?
Well, there were some complications due to the intestacy situation, and the solicitor I appointed does have a very underdeveloped sense of urgency, but the main stumbling block in the whole process has been me. Every time I was asked to provide information, sign a form or ring to arrange a meeting, it would take me weeks, if not months to do it. I have been subconsciously trying to sabotage or at least hold up the entire procedure at every stage.

It's not as though I am in a sufficiently healthy financial position to not need the money. Although I have been just about keeping my head above water lately, not working for the best part of 6 months pretty much cleaned out my savings. The money will certainly make my life a lot easier. It will probably allow me to go back to working 4 days a week, which was what I was doing before he died. That, in turn, will make it easier to keep up with things on the smallholding, which will result in a much less stressed J.

But right from the very first meeting with the solicitor I have just hated the whole business. It felt as though I was trying to turn him into cash - that this was blood money. My sensible side tried hard to persuade me that this was crazy woman thinking, and just to get on and sign the bloody form, but I seemed to have an infinite capacity to stick fingers in my ears and ignore the good sense I was talking.

And yet, despite my best efforts to scupper her, the good ship "Probate" - Gawd bless her and all who sail in her - has finally limped into port.
It is probably just as well that it has taken all this time. Had the process only lasted a few months, I would probably have torn up the cheque or given the money to the local dogs' home or something equally impetuous and stupid. Sensible J won the argument this time, though, and it has been safely deposited in my bank account while I worry and procrastinate further about what to do with it.

What I am not experiencing is any sense of closure about this. I should be writing a nice, cheery post about my holiday tonight, not fretting about this. But there is no nice warm feeling that he is looking after me even now, or relief that this part is nearly over. It still just feels like blood money.


  1. It felt like blood money to me, too. But I've come to accept that it's his last way of taking care of us and of making sure that our future is somewhat secure. He would be happy to know that he's still taking care of us, as would R, I'm sure.

    Have a good holiday!

  2. megan23:48

    I was a therapist and writer "before" - no way I could do that now, not and be present to any of this truthfully. I was already kind of burned out. Matt was taking over financial support of our family so I could take a break from working with people, taking lower paying but far more satisfying to my soul work on a farm somewhere.

    Matt didn't have life insurance or any of those things. Somehow, I was organized enough to apply for gov't support after he drowned. When they first called to tell me my application had been approved, I wanted to call them back and tell them I didn't want it. I should in no way "profit" from any of this; it is not a fair trade; and besides, he's fine. None of this actually happened.

    Fortunately, my sensible self had taken up residence in a friend, and she talked me down from refusing the income. I still bristle somewhat, but am very thankful that I do not have to pretend I'm functional in order to support myself. I am volunteering at a farm, though I much prefer our original plan.

    So I agree - it is a way of being cared for, our way being eased in some small way.

  3. Yeah I see what you mean, I've never been where you are but I see what you mean.

  4. @SuddenWidow: Yeah, I know you are right really, but I just need to work on believing it.

    @Megan: I'm glad you had a sensible friend to look after you. It helps to have someone who loves you enough to tell you that you aren't being rational. R's Dad and brother have gently nagged me through all this process - heaven knows how long it would have taken if they hadn't.

    @Rose: Thanks. It helps to know that I don't sound totally crazy!