How A Letter To My Dead Boyfriend Traumatized Me

A simple letter turned into several calls, with me explaining that my boyfriend was dead and couldn't pay a debt.

Woman calling IRS after receiving a letter addressed to her deceased boyfriend Karolina Grabowska, KLH49 | Canva

My boyfriend, Philip died on July 20, 2018, after a fatal asthma attack. He was only 45. It is one of those events in my life that traumatized me. There is nothing more life-changing than seeing someone you love die suddenly.

On that Saturday, he admitted he wasn't feeling well. He was tired and felt rundown. But the man worked 60 hours a week, so we thought his fatigue was normal. He woke up from a nap in a full-blown asthma attack. I called 911, but they took 17 minutes to arrive. He was gone before they even arrived.


How A Letter To My Dead Boyfriend Traumatized Me Ground Picture / Shutterstock

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The Impact of Phillip's Death

In the last moments we shared, he told me he loved me as he struggled to catch his breath. I could tell he was scared. Truth be told, so was I. Suddenly, he let go of my hand, collapsed, and left this world. I had never seen him this bad off. I still believed once EMS arrived, they would be able to somehow help him. But that's not what happened.


After working on him for 45 minutes, they told me the bad news. There was nothing they could do. He was gone. I worked hard to pick up the pieces. I had a few horrible months. That time in my life is a blur. Several months after Phillip's passing, I met my husband.

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The Letter

After Phillip's death, I received a letter from the state in Phillip's name. It looked to be a lawsuit demanding payment for his delinquent taxes for 2019. I called the number to let them know he had passed away and couldn't issue payment. 


The customer service rep didn't believe he was dead and asked me for proof. I said I didn't have proof, but I was sure the state could locate his death certificate. That's when she said she had to transfer me to another person.

She transferred me, and I had to repeat the story all over again. By the end of the call, I was frustrated and sad about his death. The end result was they would do some investigating and drop the lawsuit.

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I've now heard how traumatic it is to handle this type of call, but I had never experienced it before. It's unsettling to continually tell strangers their former boyfriend is dead and cannot pay his debt. It's awful. No one on the phone offered any condolences. No one apologized for making me feel bad about it. I wanted to do the right thing by letting them know about Phillip's death, but it took a toll on my mental health.

After those calls, they assured me I wouldn't receive any more letters about Phillip's debt. I thanked the supervisor for her time. She mumbled, "Ya sure," and hung up.

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Chrissie Massey is a writer who loves to share her life experiences with her readers. She has contributed to Yahoo News, Examiner, Inquisitr, Newsbreak, and Medium.