I had many worries right after Howie died. One of these worries was how I was going to tackle my finances.
My mother confided in my best friend Wendy that she was worried about me (completely understandable!).
She didn’t think I would be able to handle everything on my own. Wendy told her that I was a lot stronger than my mom realized and that I would be ok. Wendy was a lot more confident in me than I was with myself.
I lived on my own in Manhattan for four years when I was in my 20’s. I had two roommates, but nobody took care of me except me. I held down a job, took the subway, and was pretty good at hailing a taxi :). I paid my own bills, balanced my checkbook, and did most things for myself. There wasn’t a lot of money, but I was able to tackle my finances on my own. This girl became a pretty independent person.
After Howie and I got married and the girls were born, we both took on separate roles; Howie worked and supported us and took care of all of the finances, and I took care of the girls and the house. This was never really discussed, it just happened.
Little by little I started to not even ask what was going on concerning finances.
I knew that he was taking care of things. It became sort of a joke between us that I must have forgotten how to pay a bill. Believe it or not, we used to say that I was going to be an 80- something year old widow that didn’t even know how to write a check. Well, that obviously came a little earlier than expected – and one thing I did remember was how to sign a check.
There was so much I was very clueless about.
That independent person I was in my twenties seemed to have disappeared. I had let Howie take control of things because it was easy. It never would have crossed my mind that he might not be there one day to do it. But suddenly he wasn’t there and I had to figure out a lot on my own.
Once again I was lucky enough to have help. Friends and family helped show me how to handle a lot of the financial things that Howie used to handle. Eventually, I was pretty much able to tackle my finances – still sometimes with a little help :).
I guess the moral of the story is to be aware of things even if it’s not your “job”. (If I was gone and Howie was here, I am sure he would not be able to do the girls’ hair or juggle all the carpools!)
And maybe Wendy was partially correct – I handled a problem without falling apart…
Stacy was a stay-at-home mom/part-time preschool teacher whose life was turned upside down in 2011 when her husband passed away suddenly of a heart attack. She is raising her two fabulous daughters, now ages 18 and 20, who are turning into wonderful young women. In 2016, she started a blog about her experience as a young widow, The Widow Wears Pink. This led her to write for other publications including Huffington Post, Today.com, Scary Mommy, Grown & Flown, Kveller, Modern Loss, Thought Catalog, and many more. In 2018 she started Living the Second Act with fellow writer Mimi Golub. Today, Stacy and her daughters are happily living their “new normal” while always keeping her husband’s spirit alive.