Honor the Passing
FIND YOUR STRENGTHS
Over time, the love and bonds you shared will guide you to understanding and insights. My daughter and I enjoyed the cleaning, the organizing, folding clothes, seeking out ways to donate. In some way, he hadn't left when we were doing this.
STAND UP FOR YOUR LOVED ONE
One of the best ways to honor is to stand up to all the entities that will be involved in clearing out accounts. Today, in the online world, these include FaceBook, LinkedIn, Gmail, Twitter. You'll need to call credit card companies and deal with insurance, both health and life insurance.
Many of the people you come to speak with, after endless voice prompts, will NOT BE sympathetic. They will have had NO training in how to deal with death. There is no phone prompt that says: "Press 5 for Dead, Press 6 for Dying". It's up to you to sort through. And of course, there are some who are incredibly kind, helpful. Others may want to assist you, but the system will not allow it.
WE HAVE WORK TO DO HERE
In all my years developing online content, payments, blogs, enterprise portals, not once did any of us in the room consider the death of a user. From a security point of view, the options constantly change, frozen out of accessing an employer's system with all benefit information, even insurance companies. Sort this out ahead of time.
For months, I received voice mails from people who wanted to speak to my son, one said he'd not paid his bill for the physician who signed his Death Certificate! Believe I said, "I can't talk to you anymore about this." This from a system that has electronic medical records (EMRs). Was there no box to check?
Only by coming together can we expect any of this to change. If you want to help, please share your stories. Believe me, I've met countless people in the last few years anxious to call out troublemakers and companies who have no systems to deal with death.