You would think that paying off your mortgage would be pretty much one of the best days of your life. That is unless the reason you are able to pay it off is because your husband died.
It is almost four months since Aaron passed away, and I finally got his life insurance money at the end of last week. Who knew that it takes four months for a bunch of people to decide that yes I am Aaron's wife, yes I am the person he wanted the money to go to and then to actually put the money into my account. I really have no idea why it takes so long, but it was such a relief to see the money in my account when I went to do some internet banking last week. In the back of my mind I kept panicking wondering what would happen if they actually came out and said 'Just kidding! Aaron really wasn't entitled to that insurance money - you are getting nothing'.
It's crazy when I think about it now, but just after Aaron died I was in such shock and just kept saying 'how am I going to live?!'. I had no idea how I was going to live without my best friend, but also physically how I was going to be able to pay bills and especially pay the mortgage as Aaron's income was our main income. We had just built our house a year before and I straight away thought I would have to sell the house.
I knew he had some kind of life insurance and the day after Aaron died I checked into it and was relieved to see that we had enough to pay the majority of the mortgage off. I can never thank Naomi from Seven Cherubs enough for just jumping in to help me by starting off some fundraising. The money from the fundraising has allowed me to totally pay off the mortgage, as well as other things like buying Aaron and Noah's plaques for their graves. To anyone and everyone who donated anything, big or small, thank you from the bottom of our hearts. You have taken so much stress away from us right now.
Today I went into the bank to pay off the mortgage. I actually had to go into the bank twice as it takes a couple of hours for the bank to actually give you a pay out figure (seems that anything with a lot of numbers and a dollar sign in front of it takes time!). When I went in the first time and told the girl that I wanted to know the payout figure she said 'wow - that must be nice to be able to pay it off'. I told her it was except I could only afford to do it because my husband passed away and it was his life insurance money. She felt terrible and apologised and I told her it was okay and that it was actually nice to be able to pay it off.
I had to wait a couple of hours to be told the payout figure, and then had to go back into the bank. This time I had to deal with a guy and I told him I wanted to pay out my mortgage and he said pretty much the same thing 'wow! that must be a great feeling to have it paid out' and started to ask me if I had refinanced or was actually paying it out. I told him the same thing - the only reason I am paying it out is because my husband died and it's his insurance money. He was so embarrassed and quickly apologised and looked at the boys who were with me and said 'talk about foot in mouth!'. I told him it was okay and that it was a nice feeling to be able to pay it, just not a nice reason why I could pay it.
He later came up to me while I was still at the bank doing some other things and said he wanted to apologise again. I told him that he had no reason to know why I was able to pay it off and it had been almost four months and I was used to having to tell people what had happened. I felt bad for him.
On the way home I felt like a huge weight had been lifted off my shoulders. I no longer have a mortgage. The house is mine and the boys forever now and I owe the bank nothing. It's nice to know that I can go to work because I love work, not because I just need the money.
It's a strange feeling to be crying because you have just paid off your mortgage, and you don't know whether they are actually happy or sad tears. I would choose having Aaron here with
me, over having no mortgage any day, so today was terribly bitter sweet.