I got up with the sun today, and started tackling the long laundry list of administrative post-death notifications phone calls. Anyone want to adult for me? It’s been 3 weeks today and I’ve been putting this off for way too long. Probably because it’s just a reminder that this is really real and it’s not going to go away, even if I shove my index fingers into my ears and start scream-singing LALALALALA.
To date, I’ve had to look at his death certificate more than I have our marriage certificate. It’s a difficult document to be around, a reminder that your passing can be summed up on a single piece of paper because the events leading up to it are of no consequence to (most) governmental agencies. As the Adicts would say, you are just a number.
I started to look at it as a piece of informational design. It isn’t easy to design forms. You’ve got to account for a lot of different scenarios. And then, you’ve got to figure out the hierarchy and how to break up that information in a concise, clear way that is easily extrapolatable.
Alex used to poke fun at me when I’d bring up the stacks of circulars we got in the mail every week, settled down for 20 minutes poring over every single one of them, then put everything in the recycle crate when I was done. When I explained to him that someone sat at a computer for hours doing grunt work, masking out bananas and toilet paper, colour correcting avocados and toothpaste, and making sure prices were correct, he understood my habitual ritual better. To me, it’s a matter of appreciating someone hard work. Like the graphic designer’s Museum of Everyday Things, if you will. After that, he’d routinely extoll the virtues of circulars to folks going through them at the grocery stores, and if time permitted, he’d go on to explain that design, good and bad, permeates our day-to-day lives.
This video snippet has nothing to do with circulars or graphic design, but it has everything to do with making myself feel better after spending an hour on the phone just trying to talk to someone to notify them of my husband’s passing.
It’s another little forgotten nugget Alexis left me. We were on the way to Pismo and got stuck in nighttime construction, I was playing Cave Story on his Switch. He grabbed my phone and started recording as was his habit. Alex was such a big ol’ romantic, and so theatrical, always.
And now I go back to being an adult. Unless there’s a service I can hire that will do all that work for me. No? Okay, then someone create that. Please, and thank you.