Death & Taxes: Filing Alone After My Husband's Death

By

grief and taxes
A widow is confronted with filing taxes without her husband — and the surprising sense of loss.

It's good that I stayed fully aware of our finances during our marriage. I know that many widows (and some widowers) are completely in the dark about their finances when their spouse dies. And given how much work I've gone through to complete the necessary forms, transfers and phone conversations since Tony's death, I can only imagine how much worse it could have been if I hadn't already known so much.

These days, I'm doing finances on my own — definitely not my strongest skill. I can stumble my way through financial statements, slowly and carefully create spreadsheets, laboriously reconcile bank statements and schedule bill payments.

On those days when I'm feeling at my worst — sad, frustrated, unenergetic — the financial tasks are still there waiting for me. Truly, I'd rather just stay in bed and pull the covers over my head.

So, back to the dreaded taxes.

I called my husband the "Mad Shredder." Pay a bill, shred it. Reconcile a bank statement, shred it. Reconcile a credit card statement (you guessed it), shred it. I completely understood his reasoning. He'd confirmed everything was accurate (no surprise since he checked them every day) and he could look at the same information anytime on the computer. So why keep all that paper?

I'm the "Mad Filer." I keep everything. Every receipt, every statement, every record — because if I want to check something, I prefer the physical paper.

While getting everything ready for the accountant this year, I apologized to the many trees who gave their lives for the reams of paper I used to print out all the previous records. The accountant finally finished the tax preparation yesterday, and today I'm feeling melancholy. What a surprise! I'd been so careful to prepare for all the dreaded "firsts."

I made it through the first Thanksgiving, Christmas, Valentine's Day and Easter. For each one, I had friends and family in place to spend time with. I thought about how I might feel as the holiday approached, wrote down my thoughts, talked to friends and family, made plans ahead of time, etc. And even with all this preparation I still felt pretty horrible.

The last thing on my mind was the need to be prepared for grieving around the "first" tax preparation.

So, today I'm feeling weary, a bit lost, a little off. I'm learning that these feelings are normal and will continue as long as they need to, and that surprises like these are yet another part of the grieving process.

Article contributed by
Advanced Member

Christine Baumgartner

Dating Coach

I believe you want to love and be loved. And if the love you desire and deserve isn't currently in your life, then let's talk so you can turn the “work” of love into play by putting in place the right techniques for you to finally bring that love into your life.

I know (because it's how I met and married my husband) that once you become The Perfect Catch you'll definitely attract The Perfect Catch.

Christine Baumgartner

Dating and Relationship Expert

The Perfect Catch

Christine@ThePerfectCatch.com

 

Location: Laguna Niguel, CA
Credentials: Other
Specialties: Dating/Being Single Support, Life Transitions, Marriage
Other Articles/News by Christine Baumgartner:

Want To Connect? Do The Opposite Of What These Couples Are Doing

By

You have a first date scheduled and you're so excited! However you met (online dating, friends, blind date, co-worker, church, etc.) tonight's the night you finally get to sit across a table and get to know this someone special. But, by the end of the date, disappointment has taken over. All of your excitement is gone. What happened? I ... Read more

Does Your Partner Have Enough Emotional Baggage To Fill A U-Haul?

By

"I don't want to date anyone who has baggage" is a refrain I hear often. This love seeker's lament is typically referring to emotional issues, someone having children, financial problems, or physical and spiritual hang-ups. Even though I understand the desire to avoid a potential partner who brings nothing but drama, when clients approach me ... Read more

Are You Taking Love Advice From The Right Person?

By

I seem to have one of those faces that puts people (even strangers) at ease, and because of this I end up in a lot of interesting conversations with people at parties, on airplanes, in movie lines, etc. If my new conversation buddy is single and discovers that I'm a dating and relationship coach, they often solicit impromptu dating ... Read more

See More

PARTNER POSTS
Latest Expert Videos
Ask The Experts

Have a dating or relationship question?
Visit Ask YourTango and let our experts and community answer.

Most Popular