FAFSA

"FAFSA" application form

FAFSA application form - Picture courtesy of google images

We got a letter in the mail addressed to Andrew two days ago, saying that his 2009/2010 FAFSA application was being reviewed.
The social security number provided, belonged to a recently deceased person, if that is correct, the letter says, please call us.

So, they want Andrew, who is dead, to call them to confirm that the social security number in his FAFSA application belongs to a deceased person.
Never mind that we spend hours and a fortune on death certificates to notify all relevant agencies that Andrew had died.

I don’t know whether to laugh or cry.

And here’s another one – I don’t know about your health insurance company, but with ours (and it costs a fortune out of our own pocket) if you end up in the emergency room, before paying they have a third-party agency write and ask information about how the injury occurred.
Basically they look for ways to delay payment and actually try getting out of paying altogether.
Once I cut my hand while opening an avocado and needed stitches. After a while I got a letter/form in the mail asking for details of how the injury occurred, had someone else cut my hand for instance?

So, a while after Andrew died, Andrew got the form/letter in the mail asking him what had caused his visit to the E.R. the day he died.
Really, it’s enough to make one want to tear once hair out.
Anyway, I picked up the phone and dialled the number they provided.

“Hi, shall I give you the account number first?” I asked.
“Yes please,” replied a cheerful man, and I gave it to him.
“Okay, I have the account in front of me,” he says. “And who am I speaking with?”
“I am the mother of the deceased,”
Silence.
“I am sorry,” he says. “We seem to have a bad connection, I don’t think I heard what you said correctly, could you repeat it please?”
“I am the mother of deceased,” I repeat. Again, I am torn between wanting to laugh and cry at the same time.
“You mean the person on the account is dead?” he asks
“Yes.” Isn’t that what deceased means?
“How did he die?” he asks after another moment of silence.
“He killed himself,” I say flatly.

Silence, silence, silence.

“Mam?”
“Yes?”
“You can tear up that letter and throw it out.”
“Thank you.”
“And Mam? I’m sorry for your loss.”
“Thank you.”

I am sorry for my loss. More than I’ll ever be able to put into words.

IF YOU ARE FEELING SUICIDAL OR NEED TO TALK CALL THE NATIONAL LIFELINE
1-800-273-8255

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12 thoughts on “FAFSA

  1. I too got phone calls asking for Andy. It is jarring and very upsetting…I practically screamed into the phone..”who is this?” Afterwards, I felt bad I had unleashed onto the poor guy calling. All I could think of was….’how could anyone not know her is gone? doesnt the entire world know of my loss?’
    silly, where your pain takes you.

      • they catch you so off guard. They are upsetting..Andy should be here to take the call. Have you been to website”channelingerik”? I have been reading, and feel some hope finally of connecting to my Andrew. I want to read more, but it feels like a light at the end of my long dark tunnel.

      • Yes, I know the blog and Elisa is a lovely woman, I have spoken to her. Why don’t you email her?

  2. E!
    I know what you mean about not knowing whether to laugh or cry! We still get mail and phone calls. Bu gratefully I can laugh everytime I think of my husband responding to insistent call solicitations.
    “Is M there?”
    “No”
    “May I leave a message?”
    “If you like but it might be a while before he gets it?” LOL!!

    Just recently within a couple of months a card came from the Proactiv skin care company. On the cover was a crying cartoon dog with a thought bubble above his head which read “We miss you.” and the dog holding a sign “Please come back.” and I thought my sentiments exactly!!

  3. Wow, this is a strong one. You’re so good at taking us through the day-to-day, piece by piece, occurrences and exchanges small and large, long and short… Fafsa, insurance, certificates… gahhh Florentina always says, this country is not built or wired for grief.

    xoxo

    • SO nice to hear from you Laura and THANK YOU for taking the time to write x
      Did Florentina tell about my latest project?
      I’ll email it to you.
      Ciao Bella xoxox

  4. Hi Esmeralda,

    Have you ever thought of writing this in a book form? It may reach many people suffering and help them. Joan Dideon’s book about the loss of her husband and her daughters illness called “The Year of Magical Thinking” really helped me enormously in my grief process after my father’s death.

    • Hello Prabuddh, nice to hear from you. Yes I have thought about it and I intend to. At the moment though I am working on BRUNO, ANDREW & FRIENDS
      A book I wrote a few years with Andrew, his bear Bruno, Florentina her bear and a one of Andrew’s best friends as protagonists.
      I am redrafting it and I really want to get it published.
      See you soon?
      Esmeralda

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