Adventures in banking


My husband loved to play bank.  His favorite game was getting services and not paying any fees.  Consequently this involved moving our money frequently, sometimes as often as several times in one year.  When I questioned the wisdom of doing this I was told “it’s all here in the notebook”.   This was a battle I wasn’t going to win and he was extremely careful with money, so I let him have his fun. Mistake number one. After 30 years together no one should be having fun.  Especially when it involves computers,  cash and secret  extremely creative passwords.

I have been spending my time cheerfully contacting banks, both local and afar, armed with account numbers, user names and passwords, his social, my social, my blood type and the secret family recipe for tourtiere pie. My list of where we don’t have money has far exceeded my list of where we do and I am painstakingly crossing off each institution.  Having narrowed it down I have either sent a copy of the death certificate with my written instructions on what I want done with the account or, in the case of local banks, taken care of it in person.  Each time the account was closed, within a week there has been a letter addressed to him informing him that someone (I would assume they mean me.. the co-owner of the accounts, wife, widow, holder of the paperwork confirming he is no longer making banking decisions) has closed his account.  He is to contact them immediately if those were not his wishes.  Can I get a big round of what the fuck?  Seriously.




  1. Jackie · August 8, 2013

    I hate banks. I hope this is behind you and you don’t have to continually contact them because they are not getting it right.


    • mainelyhopeful · August 8, 2013

      The bank that will get my ongoing business will be the one that made all of this easy and effortless. The others can suck it 😉


      • Jackie · August 8, 2013

        Watch them trip all over themselves trying to keep your business after they have made it a complete pain in the ass to work with them.


  2. John C Jones · August 8, 2013

    I am glad that Hanks flair for speaking g is being carried on in your writing. I know some of this is very serious, but you have a unique way of putting a funny spin on your on going adventures.


    • mainelyhopeful · August 8, 2013

      Thanks, John. It’s cheaper than therapy. Hank would approve 😉


  3. karen sutherland · August 8, 2013

    dear MH,

    I am so very sorry for the loss of your husband, gone so suddenly, and just when you welcomed your first grandchild into the world. having to endure the folderol, frustration, and anger of all the hours, days, and weeks of putting financial things in place is something I would not wish on my worst enemy (okay, maybe on the WORST), while suffering
    through the sudden loss of one’s husband. SUDDEN loss is so very different, with it’s own set of grieving issues. did you find that you expended so much time and energy on practical things that were so urgent to get taken care of, it delayed some of your grieving? oh, and btw, here’s the round of what you asked for – WTF, WTF. WTF???!!!

    this post really resonated with me. my husband died suddenly on 5/5/2013 – while he was in a robust remission from multiple myeloma, and while I was NED from st IV met BC (8 wks after his death, I was dx’d with uterine ca – surgery tomorrow. a huge bucket of fuckedness.)

    H was an attorney, extremely organized, everything in both our names, will done, et. al. but for 10 tortuous weeks, the business of death was a full time job, with daily overtime, to boot. each day, going to the mailbox, I could imagine it filled with snakes as i stuck my hand inside. banking, financial advisors communications and change-overs, medical benefits, and figuring out what the fuck 4 checkbooks were for made me crazy with worry and a constant state of anxiety. turned out the extra checkbooks were for atty accts – I had to go to probate to get avadavits to close them – I still get statements, addressed to H – each one says the same – account closed. goddammit. even with taxes, I couldn’t deposit a refund check, even though it had both our names on it – sent it back 2 weeks ago, still has not been cleared up.

    but by now, I’ve learned a lot, and found I was much stronger that I ever knew I could be. and by now, I am also floundering breathlessly in the overwhelming waves of grief – hours and hours of crying, still asking “why”, begging him to please come and get me. I still cannot believe I will never see H again, that he is never coming home, that he will not be with me tomorrow when I wake up in recovery, nor be the one to take me home. to be able to say that the last 4 years of our life together with both of us having cancer at the same time, were some of the most intimate and loving ones says everything about how much I miss him. I would give the rest of my life just to be with him one more day – to hold each other close, to look into his laughing blue eyes, to hear his fabulous laugh, to feel the reassurance of his hand holding mine. caring for each other was like a beautiful ballet, one that only needed choreography written by love, and began with no words, or even a nod. it flowed like honey, and afterwards, we sat on fat cushions in chairs facing each other, licking the sweetness off our fingers, with sly smiles, exchanging exquisite, yet unspoken, delight -we knew each other so well.

    i am here for you, MH, sending you love and the light of hope, for comfort and solace. i will hold good thoughts for you to find the exact perfect fit for a job – whoever employs you will be very lucky, as i can see by your excellent writing that you would be a valuable asset to their workplace – NEVER damaged goods, but a strong and wise and determined woman.

    love, xoxo

    Karen, TC


    • mainelyhopeful · August 8, 2013

      I am so sorry for your loss and the ongoing struggles with cancer. A huge bucket of fuckedness, indeed. Sending prayers and strength to you. xxoo



  4. Everyone's A Guru · August 8, 2013

    Oh my my my. I can SO relate to this. One of the strangest moments, though, (after going through numerous ‘innings’ of having to verify the deceased could no longer ‘play ball’) had to do with proving an elder – (an ex-mother-in-law) was actually ALIVE, because Social Security put her down as deceased at the very same time her husband passed. DOLTS! It took about two months of phone calls, documentation, and finally going back and forth –with the wheelchair for her bent in half body–to the local SS Admin office, to have this petite elder stand up IN THE FLESH before a group of bureaucrats to say in her 86 year-old, teeny lil Texas drawl voice….and I quote, “Umm…. I am not dead.” They relented. We went home and slept for a week. Her monthly checks resumed two months later. Apologies from the gubmint remain forthcoming…

    May your troubles become fewer and fewer and your joys amass daily. Love, Deb


  5. myeyesareuphere · August 8, 2013

    What an annoyance, Susan. Why do so many parts of grieving have to be so ridiculous? Xoxo.


  6. Cancer Curmudgeon · August 8, 2013

    I know that the bank “means well” by sending the letter to your late husband, they want to protect, to prevent fraud and theft and such, but there has just got to be a better way to handle all of this…


  7. Tracy · August 12, 2013

    So unthinking and it’s the same here too. I’m sure stupidity rules the world a lot of the time!


    • mainelyhopeful · August 15, 2013

      The stupidity continues. Today was a letter informing him his death benefit had been cancelled. Was this his intention? Good Lord.


      • Tracy · August 15, 2013

        It’s truly shocking. Banks and insurance companies seem to be the worst culprits. I’m so sorry you have this idiocy to contend with.


  8. theempathyqueen · August 22, 2013

    Susan, the shocking indignities of dealing with major corporations in the midst and despair of a loved one dying is horrific. I empathize with the maze and nightmare of trying to tack down every moving target after someone passes away. In our case, my parents spent weeks using up my mother’s precious and dwindling lung and breathing functions telling the banks and credit cards what she wanted to do and how to set up and yes, both their names were on the accounts. There were bills set up in advance, auto pay on credit cards and withdrawals. Well, the credit card company bounced the payments and said that they closed the account because my mother died but Dad could feel free to open a new account if he would like to apply. Chasing down everything that was unpaid, arranged, creating new accounts etc. etc. is already beating someone who is half alive. Insurance companies, after an accident or death, and bank accounts and credit cards have no grace periods nor grace, period. Loyalty means nothing and pre-planning meant nothing. Being a widow or widower is already a living nightmare and the wishes of the living and those who have passed are denied, humiliated and abused. So sorry for what you are going through.


    • mainelyhopeful · August 23, 2013

      oh my goodness.. what a nightmare. My experiences have mostly been annoying, nothing like what your poor Dad went through. I’m sorry 😦


  9. The Presents of Presence · August 25, 2013

    Too bad there’s not someone who could take over for you and deal with all of the mess ~ I am thinking of you. Having had to do this for my Dad, I know all the PITA stuff that it involves. Thinking of you. xo


    • mainelyhopeful · August 25, 2013

      It’s a pita, but with each decision I make the more independent I feel. Crossing financial institutions off my list of where I want to invest for my retirement based on the level of assholiness through all of this is pretty freeing too 😉


Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s