Tuesday, March 16, 2004
Woman to Woman: Coping With The Loss Of A Spouse
Till death do us part - those are the words nearly every couple must recite on their wedding day. But what happens when one partner dies unexpectedly... early in the relationship. Tonight, 7's Beatriz Canals has the story of one young woman who was forced to learn from her loss.
(WSVN) -- "I like to think of him as my soul-mate, we really fit together like glue," says Ali Berliner.
Ali Berliner finds great comfort listening to her husband's favorite song.
"He told me to stop and listen to the song here comes the sun," she says.
Two years ago Ali and Jimmy - a successful architect - were about to start a family.
"When you're thirty years old you think you have the rest of your life ahead of you," she adds.
But one morning that all changed.
Berliner says, "I got a call from his father that said Jimmy's been in a terrible accident."
Jimmy was killed instantly when a truck ran a red light.
She says, "I can't even describe the feeling, it's like an outer body experience in some ways."
"I wanted to die too," she adds.
We never think it'll happen to us -- but it does happen to someone every single day.
And even though you don't want to be a part of it - life must go on.
So where do you begin???
"I think one of the hardest things you do is to go to bed alone and wake up alone," she says.
But being with people is also painful.
"Friends getting pregnant, friends getting married, friends buying a house. You feel like you're watching life through a glass door," she says.
But you've got to face reality --like finances-- steps you need to take now rather than later.
Ali feels better prepared because she was involved in paying bills and fortunately Jimmy had life insurance.
"You don't need a very intense complicated plan but you do need certain basic principals," saysAccountant Ernie Hartman.
Like your name on all accounts. A personal credit card - plus a list of your spouse's. Knowledge of any investments. A will. Plus, seriously consider creating a trust to cut through red tape. And, of course, life insurance.
Hartman says, "You want to have enough life insurance in there to account for seventy percent of their income. I carry your heart with me - I carry it in my heart."
Ali -- now finds comfort in poetry.
But, she does have advice for couples still blessed to have each other...
"Always say 'I love you,' there shouldn't be a day that goes by that you don't tell someone that you love, your spouse, that you love them," she says.
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