Joanne: Death is in the Details (Part 3 of 7)

After my husband Gary died, I had to close down the concrete business he owned for 30 years and also empty out his huge warehouse full of equipment.  He passed away in March, and clearing out the warehouse was finally done the end of the summer.  All summer long, my two boys and I worked there and sold things as we could online and we also had Miedema Auctioneering come for some of the items we couldn’t sell on our own.

Closing down the business and gradually selling what was left of it was all part of my grieving.  When I walked into that office, I was reminded of what we did together.  And I had to empty all that out.

This concrete slab in our yard is one of our cherished mementos of Gary’s life.  He loved pouring concrete!

This concrete slab in our yard is one of our cherished mementos of Gary’s life.  He loved pouring concrete!

One of my brothers-in-law who’s in the concrete business took some paint and stains and chemicals. He came with a huge trailer and took that away. I took pictures of all the equipment as it went and I took some video too. It was hard, but it was part of the release.

Part of the release was also having that behind me because it was such a huge task.

The details are hard for everyone.  I sold his trucks and equipment and was going to sell Gary’s big green truck we called “the General.”  One day I’d had it into Ford garage to fix some things on it.  My daughter came over, saw that it wasn’t there, and it was pouring rain.  I was in the house when my son-in-law called and told me that my daughter was sitting in my driveway, totally breaking down. She could hardly walk – she saw the truck wasn’t here and it just opened up the gates for her. I literally had to help her get into the house because she was so overwhelmed with grief.

"The General"

"The General"

I ended up selling the truck privately after cleaning it really good. The buyer was so thrilled with that truck and it made me feel better that it was somebody who was really excited and that was really going to enjoy it.

Closing down all of the business’ accounts was also so, so hard. I had to call the different places that we did business with to let them know about Gary’s death and closing down the business.  I cried when I went into the bank to close an account.

After Gary died, I had to close the business credit card at Home Depot.  I walked into the store and stood by the service counter -- and wept.  I had Gary’s death certificate in hand and had to explain to them what happened.  

My notification of a status change to Social Security clearly laid out that I was no longer married.  On my tax return I had to write on there that he died, and his date of death.

All of those little things that are reminders of big things so easily brought grief to the surface for me.  All the details of life that reminded me that mine had changed forever.  

And it sometimes took me off guard.  Grief is like that.   

What details were difficult for you?  What helped you get through them?