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