Welcome to Widow Wednesdays. A new way for me to share what worked, what didn’t work and what could work better.
Moving forward requires teamwork
Moving forward is always easier when it is supported through teamwork.
It wasn’t until I was well along the road to healing that I came to understand that I was the player being carried by the team. This realization taught me the importance of asking others who were grieving “Who is on your team?” and sharing with them (when appropriate) who had been on mine.
Navigating life after loss and starting again often requires skills and expertise that many of us, myself included, do not possess. In all honesty, during those early days I was also in no condition to actively assemble the team I needed much less recognize that I needed one. I suspect this too is true for many others.
This week’s Widow Wednesday instalment discusses a few of the key players you need on your team to go from surviving to once again thriving. I hope your team is as valuable to you as mine was and continues to be to me.
Getting my house in order: Checking the financial foundation
One of the important tasks I needed to complete was figuring out how to shift from working towards “our financial and retirement goals” to this new reality.
An accountant friend told me at the wake that I would need an accountant with experience in estates and she would find me one. Another friend offered to connect me with her extraordinary financial advisor after I confided that I was getting freaked out because I didn’t know who to ask the “now what” question and I lacked confidence in my current advisor. And our lawyer, one of my late husband’s good friends, came to the house and told me he would handle all of the legalities for me. I was extremely lucky that others knew what I would need and stepped forward to provide me with a team to guide me through the administrative aspects of death and help me figure out what financially stable would look like moving forward.
I followed their instructions because it seemed like the right thing to do and also because, like many, I suffered from exhaustion and grief brain during those early months. My mind wandered and I couldn’t concentrate for more than about half an hour on any subject that required me to think.
Needless to say, meeting a new financial advisor in this altered state was daunting. When I again confided my concerns about the upcoming meeting to someone, they suggested I ask one of my more financially savvy friends to come with me to the meeting. I asked. He came (from out of town). When my mind blanked, his didn’t. It was one of the best asks I made. Did I mention I asked the night before my morning meeting? I am truly fortunate to have amazing friends.
Hindsight is a gift. And I’ve learned that each of these professionals provide a different perspective that when looked at together creates a fuller picture of where I stand in the moment; this knowledge helps me decide how to move forward with confidence.
I know not everyone knows accountants, financial advisors, or lawyers. If you don’t, then do what I did and confide in trusted friends, colleagues, and neighbours that appear to be financially stable. It is better to own up to not knowing and needing help than to make decisions that may impact you negatively in the future. People help when they can, but we also need to be willing to ask for their help. Moving forward is challenging enough. Allow others to help.
Till next time, stay well
Looking for previous Widow Wednesdays? Start here with Widow Wednesday #1
or Buy Heike’s book “Grief is…” here
To learn more about Heike (Author: “Grief is… thoughts on loss, struggle and new beginnings click here