I have been given the nickname of “The Reaper” in my place of work. I think if anyone else would have received that name, they would be upset, or insulted. Personally, I think it is a nice twist because of who I am, and what I do outside of work. But my name remains “The Reaper” by my colleagues because of the specialised work I do.
Normally, I would be on the phones, answering queries from the public. Instead, due to personal health issues, I am not “on the phone”. Instead, I use my work time in reaping the dead. That is to say, in the nicest possible way, that I turn peoples’ files “dead”, and stop any payments being issued.
When someone passes away, their family members can call what is known as the “Tell Us Once” service. This service will forward all details of the deceased person to all the major governing bodies. For example, to their local council, the Pension Service, the Job Centre, etc.
Basically, my job is to ensure that the deceased does not receive any further payments of their pension(s) / benefit(s), to make sure that their will not be a bill land on the executors doormat to repay any overpayment. The best part of this job, if there is a best part, is filling in the executors details and issuing any monies owed to the estate. I also look into any other benefits that the widow / widower may now be entitled to. Money will never replace the loss of a loved one, but it can help.
Today, I had three encounters of the unusual variety. If you get upset easily, please do not read on.
The second person on my list today, passed away yesterday. She was born in 2009. She would have been 4 in September. As a mother to a child below this age, this didn’t just tug at my heart-strings… This grabbed tight hold of them, pulled them out of my chest and played the harp on them. After only being in work for 20 minutes, I had to excuse myself from my desk, after completing this file, to regain my composure. I can’t imagine what the parents, family, and friends are going through. ❤ Rest in Peace, little one.
When I returned to my desk, the next deceased person I had to deal with was born in 1906. Although a really upsetting time for her family and friends, it did make me smile to see this. This lady had recently reached her 107th birthday. What an amazing life…
An hour or two later, I saw a surname on my list that isn’t very popular. I processed what I could, and then, when I inputted the executors’ details on the file, ready to issue the arrears, I realised that I once knew the person who’s details I was now typing… The deceased person is a parent of an old friend. I’ve not spoken to them for several years, and I have no intention of getting in touch now, but if I do ever see them again (I doubt I will), I will pass on my condolences.
Losing someone is always difficult to do, and I’d like to take this opportunity to pass on my sympathies to anyone reading this who has recently lost someone. I tried to make the matter lighter by the start of this post, and I mean no insult.