Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Maybe She's Not Dead After All

Ghostly Martini

05/18/2016 03:31 PM

Dear Ethel,

This response is in reference to your email dated May 17, 2016 7:32:36 PM, to inform you that your inquiry is still in review and will be responded to as soon as your concern has been resolved. We appreciate your patience during our review process.

There are instances in this life when automated email responses are nothing short of idiotic.

My mother's life was not complicated. No real estate. No car. No investment accounts. Not much actual stuff since she moved out of her own place in 2009 and lived with one or another of her children. All that's left is a small box (think of a shoe box that  would house a large pair of boots)  of keepsakes, a plastic file box, some costume jewelry, a tin of pretty postage stamps torn from years of mail, those damn rip-off "collector" coins, and some family photos. 

She did, however work for a large municipality in a union job (she was a janitor and cleaned office buildings) and had a myriad of benefits. A small (really small)pension, a modest life insurance policy, supplemental health insurance (so pricey her pension didn't cover the cost) and a catastrophic health insurance policy that she also paid out of pocket for. She also had a small amount of money remaining in her credit union accounts with said large municipality. Are you counting? That makes five entities (from just this one job) I have notified regarding my mother's passing from this life into the next. 

Things went swimmingly with the life insurance folks. So easily that I thought they might spread the word around since anything having to do with employee benefits pretty much begins with that same phone number. Like I thought the life insurance folks would let the pension folks know--hey heads up, stop paying this person her pension because she's dead. And then I thought that maybe when the pension checks stopped showing up in her credit union account, they might be like, uh, what's up? Nothing's happening here, did this person die? And when I stopped paying her insurance premiums, I thought that along with the fact I'd filed a life insurance claim....well, you get the picture. So that didn't happen and I made the appropriate phone calls, and sent in the appropriate forms, and yet the mail for the dead keeps coming. So yesterday I logged onto the website for her catastrophic insurance and sent them a message. And they got back to me. I hope they "resolve her concern." And I'm so glad they "appreciate her patience." 

Is there anyone more patient than the dead?


Ms. Moon said...

My mother showed up in my dreams last night. As per usual, she was not dead, had not been dead, and was living a fairly active life but she wanted me to take care of things, like maybe a dead possum on her porch.
"So you're saying," I asked her, "that if something needs doing at your house, you expect me to do it?"
"Yes," she said. "I am."
I was so pissed. I mean, if she had cheated death, she could surely handle whatever else came her way.
This is probably not what you meant in your post but it's what I go through frequently.

Catrina said...

My favorite was after my mom passed away in 2009. I took care of notifying everyone as Dad was grieving (and still is). Of course Social Sexirity sent a nasty letter saying Dad wasn't deserving of her $372 check since she died in the middle of the month. But best of all was when the life insurance company (who had already been notified of her death AND had paid out to Dad) sent Mom a letter, asking if her death was an accident! It came almost five months after she passed, and Dad and I were ready for a laugh by then. Dad just crossed out the address, wrote DECEASED in red Sharpie and put it back in the mailbox.

Elizabeth said...

It all just defies belief and keeps us on our circus toes.

Anne said...

Hi Denise, I appreciate your blog. I have been reading and following your thoughts and experiences for years. Thanks for sharing. I was contented for you when you were able to move your mother back to Iowa for her last days. It seemed to be the best situation for her and you, allowing space for quality care and familial relationships for her and personal space for yourself to continue to process and participate In her life and death. Living on the edge of the continent and becoming part of the power of the Pacific's energies is a rich restorative life. I am happy that you have been given and have taken this opportunity to experience life there at this time. Thank you for your words, pictures, reflections and insights. They oddly enough bring me peace as well and connect me to you and a larger world.

Taxmom said...

We changed addresses on my FIL's bills to come to our address while we settled things (he died in March). So naturally the great junk mail machine in the sky thinks he has moved house and is need of all sorts of new purchases. The best so far is from a major department store offering a coupon. The envelope says "Charles, welcome to your new home!!" to which I want to add, "beyond the confines of this broken world".