Thursday, January 28, 2010


Tonight we visited the high school to discuss next year's courses for one kid, and ran into several people who hadn't heard the official word that she had passed away. One of them, a neurologist, simply held my hand and said, "I am so sorry. There's no easy way to live through this." And that was all he had to say. It was enough.

You know, that was really wonderful. I didn't have to exchange platitudes about how she is "in a better place" or some well-meaning "I'm sure it will ease in time." Yes, both of those phrases are true (and I have even said them!) But what our friend said was just enough...

Afterwards, a school counselor caught me and told me that our kid had been in twice to talk to her since Thanksgiving and was in a grief group during lunch. She said, "I offered, she accepted. I hope that is OK." I said, "yes, she asked us what we thought and we encouraged it." The counselor said, "you are doing a great job - she tells the group how you process grief together and I can't thank you enough for trying to do that. I know it's hard."

I don't know as we have really 'done' much -- we talk. We look at pictures. Sometimes we cry. And then we go about the rest of the day...

But, the feedback really helped me know that she's doing OK, and we're doing OK too. I feel a bit of relief. We are a "public family" since I am in the ministry, and I know people watch to see "how does the pastor handle it." A little bruised and battle-weary, but we're doing OK.


Wednesday, January 27, 2010

It's been two months...

The paperwork continues to cascade as we hit the two month mark on Tuesday. I started a spreadsheet because
1) her hospital stay is covered by Medicare and secondary insurance
2) her initial nursing home stay is covered by Medicare and secondary insurance
3) the five days she was "private pay" has NOTHING covered except a 20% UCR (usual and customary rate) charge for medications

#3 alone was a whopping $1100!!!!!!!!!!!

OK, after we picked ourselves up off the floor, and took a few deep cleansing breaths, I began to create a spreadsheet. So far I've found over $5000 in bills to us which were either not allowed by a Medicare provider or were not billed to secondary insurance.

It's a good thing I can play the numbers game since I worked for an insurance company. Otherwise, we would be paddleless up the proverbial feces creek.

Two months.

Oh God. I really miss her.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

A first...

For the first time since the whole business started in October, I started back to singing in worship again. You know what? For a few hours, with rehearsals and then leading worship, everything faded. The paperwork. The pain. The loss.

I know my heart has not been in the right place. I know that I have been stuck on myself with this pity party that isn't great to be around. I really have tried to be "different" and to be "OK." But I also know that lying about how you feel, and not acting like you feel comes back to bite you.

It's a first that I can do and be what seems "normal" and not be suddenly caught in a crying jag.

I'm really grateful.

Saturday, January 16, 2010


I really should take the tree down before I become one of those weird old ladies who has a pile of Christmas decorations in a corner on Easter...

Monday, January 11, 2010

Due Dates

In three weeks...
- I have a round of paperwork due to the lawyer
- my oldest will have been back to college for a month
- my first paper is due
- I get to go back to the dentist to decide if I have to have a root canal

I am not sure which I dread the most.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Whoop-dee-doo. Happy New Year.

So we went to see family and had a second memorial service. It was good to have the service, but just when I felt like I could get through the day without a crying jag, we have to go back through this knee-high muck of pain and loss.

I told one family member that it was what I had heard families say when they had two memorial services, particularly when someone is buried at Arlington National Cemetery and you have to "wait in line" for the caisson. It just brings up all of the old "stuff."

And it sucks.

The Christmas tree is still up. The lights are still on outside. Of course it's minus-something-awful with the windchill, so who the heck is going to take lights down. Let 'em shine on the snow and blow in the wind. But I don't have the energy to deal with the inside stuff. I need to clear it out and de-clutter but I don't feel like it. I guess it's because it was such a struggle to get everything UP that I don't want to take it DOWN.

New Year's Eve I went to bed at 11. I was too tired to stay awake. The kids stayed up and reported that they fell asleep before the ball dropped.

Now the kids are back in school. The house seems empty when they are away at activities (and the older one is back at college.) We spent a lot of time doing nothing together - watching football on TV, playing a few games... mostly just being. I needed that change of pace from crazy-crazy-crazy.

I know that emotional exhaustion is a killer when it comes to having physical energy. This is just a reminder.

Bleah. Whoop-dee-doo. Happy New Year.