You know what word I have started hating? Closure. I think about closure every day. I naively thought that after Dad died (after weeks of hospice) I’d be able to have closure on the whole tragedy and move on..cope…deal. Yeah. That’s what you would think, right? Wrong. As an indicator as to how much more my brother and I would need to deal with as the administrators of Dad’s “estate” (that’s a legal term that makes it sound way fancier than it really is) – I was filing his 2008 taxes less than two weeks after he died. I mean, filing taxes suck, right? For everyone. Now – imagine having to file them for someone who died. Who you loved. And then, realize that they OWED TAXES. Like filing a deceased loved one’s taxes isn’t torture enough, you then find out that person owed the government.
(Which, really wasn’t much of a surpise. My Dad tried to owe taxes every year because he considered it an interest-free loan from the government.)
Okay…so that sucks, right? Having to file a loved one’s taxes because they died only to realize they owe. Well – what about this? The IRS actually made it difficult for us to do that. I spent several hours on the phone with the IRS saying things like, “I want to pay taxes for my Dad but I can’t because I don’t know his last years AGI and I need that as a pin.” So, two weeks after I lost my Dad I had to convince the IRS he was really dead by faxing over a death certificate. Just so that I could PAY THE GOVERNMENT MONEY. I feel like I deserve some sort of badge of honor for making it throught that whole ordeal without (a) calling someone a filthy whore douche or (b) crying uncontrollably.
Yeah. So much for coping.
Filing Dad’s taxes was just the beginning of stuff we’ve had to do. We had to put everything into probate, open up estate accounts and get EIN numbers assigned. 3 months ago those words would have meant about as much to me as a sentence written in Arabic. I wouldn’t have known what any of it meant. Now? I’m becoming an expert. I’ve had to go through every piece of paper Dad owned to make sure I found every important financial document. I had to hire a lawyer AND a CPA. And then…(this is the best part)…I had to call all of the doctor’s offices sending me late notices on Dad’s medical bills and assure them that I’d pay the balances as soon as his estate was in probate and I was authorized to do so.
“Oh, your father died?”
Yes. He died. Which makes your “Final Notice” medical bills very awesome to receive. Maybe you meant to send a sympathy card instead? And in case I didn’t say it before…Thank you for your services. They obviously failed. He died. And the fact that I still have to pay you for those services even though he’s dead makes me want to stab someone in the eyeballs.
But I’m not bitter.
My point? I wouldn’t wish this type of stuff on my worst enemy. And we’re still months away from being done. The silver lining? I have had an excuse to buy cute office supplies. I do seek solace in knowing that my Dad would totally appreciate me using this as an excuse to buy a label maker. (I’ve always wanted one!) He is the one who taught me to worship at the church of Staples in the first place. Because – if you have to have a file labeled “Death Certificates” – at least it should be decorated in flowers. Right?