I was talking recently with another mom about the responsibilities that rain down on you in the days following your baby's departure for Heaven.. Unfortunately there are so many difficult choices and matters to handle on top of all the grief you're already dealing with. If you're in the early phase following your loss, it's not a bad idea to ask someone to help you. In fact, it could be a giant weight off your shoulders to have someone take some of it on.
Not every person's experience is the same, here's a few of the things we had to deal with.
I had to argue with the insurance to pay the late claims that came through. They kept informing me that she wasn't on our policy. She HAD been on our policy until the day she passed, as per our insurance's policy to remove people on their day of passing. I was super angry each time I had to make a phone call regarding this, I finally took some advice from a wise friend and when I had a rude representative, I'd ask for their supervisor- promptly report their lack of compassion and ask for someone else to handle my call.
I had bills show up all the way up to ONE YEAR after her death. ONE YEAR? Talk about being behind on your billing. This is one of the things that was hard to deal with. My husband started gathering the mail each day and setting aside insurance bills on Fridays, then giving them to me on Mondays. I couldn't handle knowing that I had two + days over the weekend of which I could not call someone and handle my issues with their bills.
We had quite a bit of medical debt stacked up considering we'd
a.) just had a baby and had a doctor's bill
b.) our baby had a 13 day stay in the NICU for cleft palate (They tried to charge us $22,000)
c.) We had medical debt and an ambulance bill from the dreaded morning she left us.
d.)funeral costs, casket, a stone, plus the cost of a burial plot in the cemetery.
I highly recommend asking for financial assistance in situations like this. Ask for payment plans, write offs, anything you can to ease the burden of the debt.
I also received tons of other painful things in the mailbox: American baby magazines, formula samples, 1st Birthday celebration magazines, etc. My husband was super supportive by sorting mail before bringing it in the house and tossing the things that would bring tears. There were also hundreds of sympathy cards. Some days I just didn't open them. I stacked them up and waited for a different day to open them.
I'd never planned a funeral before. Choosing the little cards to hand out, the casket, what to put on her, what to put in the casket with her, what cemetery to go to, what we wanted on the stone, when to have the funeral, where to have the service, what to say at the funeral, these are just some of the things that had my head spinning. I wish I'd asked for more help, a bigger support group to go to all the meeting with me. We did, however, take our pastor with us- from our church. It was nice for us to "not be alone" during that time. If I had to do it over again, I would have gone in there with a friend up under each arm to carry me.
I won't go into my awful dealings with the coroner, the autopsy and the cps, I've gone through that in previous posts.. but those were added to my giant emotional heap. But thankfully we had a wonderful woman who prepared Lila for burial. She cried along with us, and told us she'd take care of her as if she were her own child. She was super compassionate and kind.
I know there's a lot more than this, but right now they aren't coming to mind. Please take my advice if you're still in the early stages post loss and ask for help! You'd be surprised how many people will reach out to help you pull through this rough time. And if you're reading this and you're not a SIDS mom, but know a SIDS mom PLEASE reach out and do as much for her as you possibly can. You cannot imagine how much it will help and how much she'll love you for it later. She may not be able to thank you for it now, and she may seem ungrateful (that's the anger and hurt caused by the loss) but trust me- She needs you!
I say *she* a lot in my posts, I want to note that daddies need to be helped, remembered, loved and supported too.