We all come to W Club in one of two ways: we are stunned by the unexpected loss, or we are slowly dragged to it as we watch our husbands suffer and die. Both ways suck. One gives us the opportunity to plan or say goodbyes. The other, spares us a long drawn out suffering.  One thing is the same. When you are in the throes of grief you don’t want to (or can’t) hear the warnings that there are those in your inner circle who will try to take advantage of you.  

I don’t remember anyone warning me that it might happen, but that doesn’t mean they didn’t.  Our inner circle was completely trusted. But the slow and steady and guilt laden requests for money happened anyway.  At first I didn’t realize what was happening.  When I did finally figure it out I was so taken aback I didn’t know how to respond.  I’ve had many conversations with other W’s over the last month, and it is a common scenario.  In fact, it’s happened to almost all of us.  Some people still subscribe to the myth that life insurance is a huge windfall.  It’s not.  It’s a predetermined amount to help you get back on your feet.

When it’s the ambulance chasing investment advisor who shows up to the funeral with high pressure tactics (unethical, by the way, please file a complaint if this happens to you) it’s a little easier to tell them to f#$% off. When it’s family or friends it’s a lot harder. They know you are at your weakest, and know how to manipulate you.  It hurts.  And it makes you angry.

One of the W’s I spoke with came up with a brilliant response.  She told the shameless beggars that she’d turned over control of her finances to her advisor, since she needed someone to have her best interests at heart while she was grieving and nothing would happen for at least a year.  Genius!  Sad that it was necessary, but I wish I’d had something like that at the ready.

So in addition to everything else you have to deal with, please be safe my dear W’s.  Those friends and family who truly love and care for you will NEVER ask your for money, valuables, or assets.  Anyone who does isn’t worthy of your time or energy.