Sunday, February 17, 2013


Saturday marked two years without my sweet husband.

When I was told (what seemed like) not so long ago that time heals wounds even as deep as these, I was positive that no one who could say that to my face had ever experienced a pain such as mine. Had they never felt their heart physically ache with every horrible beat? Did they not know the weight of such an absence? And how could they not see the cruelty in patronizing the newly aggrieved with such platitudes?

Loyalty would dictate this cannot be true; if mere time can take away the pain, the hole that is left in my heart, then I must be unfaithful to the memory and love of a man to whom I pledged my life. Grief originally felt like my cross to bear; the only emotion I had left to tie me to my husband; the last piece of my marriage that I desperately had to protect.

read that again
I sought to protect my grief.

No one says that in the books. No one talks about that in the meetings. No one mentions the sick and  twisted thought that as long as you are afflicted by sadness, whether openly or in private, he is still relevant to your life. And so you poke at the wound to make sure it still stings. You feel the hole to make sure a little piece of you is still missing. That grief becomes the only physical reminder of something and someone that will never be tangible again. 

I tried valiantly for some time to hold on to Roger through that grief, but at some point (I don't know if I can even recognize when that point was for me), you realize that the sting has become a warm memory that makes you smile instead of cry. And that hole was merely a reshaping into something that truly can be relevant in my new life. 

I don't know when it happened. I'm not sure how it happened. 
But I am thankful:
Time heals all wounds.
Even the ones you know it can't.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Open Warfare Against Turbo Tax

I've been wanting to blog about my recent conversion to vegetarian, but I've got the taste of venom in my mouth, and I'd rather share that.

I hate Turbo Tax.

Actually, I used to love it. It's been probably a decade since I did my taxes by pen and calculator... I don't remember the last time. How wonderful to input seemingly imaginary numbers, receiving encouragement with each click of "continue", and finally the moment when you discover Uncle Sam is going to send you a monetary token of his appreciation for your hard work all year.

I do, however, remember these last 3 filings that have left me bitter and angry.

I feel like I've been grinding my teeth for the last 2 hours.

As I filed our taxes jointly just a few weeks after I lost Roger, I was slapped in the face when I discovered that in spite of all the other horrors of my year, I now owed money because of Roger's military earnings and some contracted work subject to self-employement taxes. Not Turbo Tax's fault per se, but you know what they say about the messenger.

Finally at the end of navigating through my finances as a Qualifying Widow in the eyes of the IRS, I was asked to enter our PINs right at the very end... Guess what? When your social security number has been "retired", the IRS won't give you a PIN... And even when Turbo Tax tells you they have accepted your tax submission using the alternative (your Adjusted Gross Income from the previous year), they wait until you have gone to bed to email you that they have decided instead to reject your e-filing. But please feel free to print all of that online work and snail mail it in... Because as a widow you haven't filled out enough paper work that year.

Feeling more positive that, despite being responsible for $1200 more per year now as "Single", my new filing status would bring me back to a more simple filing process, I gave myself 20 minutes to take care of my taxes. That was before Turbo Tax decided I need to repay the First Time Home Buyer's Credit we received with the purchase of our house four years ago since Roger doesn't live here anymore... 2 hours and 7 minutes of seeking online support later, the support tech and I decided to simply delete that form and hope for the best. Turbo Tax has (at this point) accepted my e-file... at least until I go to bed.

When does it end???
Why am I still being plagued by paperwork 2 years later???

And why hasn't Turbo Tax figured out how to tailor its services to appropriately and delicately address a very real percentage of our population that doesn't need more forms, more signatures, and more reality checks.