Tuesday, September 30, 2014
Almost 3 years later I thought this would be just another mundane administrative task. Call up customer service and cancel the number no longer being used on my cell plan. Except that it's not just any number. It's his number.
I told Laura, the lovely Customer Service Rep at AT&T Wireless that I needed to cancel one of the lines on my service and I knew that I would be asked why. I was prepared.
"It was my husband's line and he passed away."
She of course was so sweet and said she was sorry for my loss and told me that she would take care of it right away for me and that I was on a very old plan and she would also find the best new plan for me.
There must be a requirement that the CSR say out loud what she is doing and that she say it more than once.
"feeling reckless"...his last text to me. He meant to say "restless" but the drugs were interfering.
"Hey, it's Joe. I can't get to the phone. Leave a message." The voicemail recording my friend Erin went to painstaking ends to help me record and save.
The tears were falling down my cheeks now as Laura moved on to talking about the changing fall weather and did her best to get through the steps of the line cancellation as quickly as she could.
Laura was great. She helped me order the new iPhone I have been meaning to get but never seem to have the energy to follow through on. She adjusted things on my plan that needed fixing and she ended up saving me $90 a month. I have no idea why I didn't call sooner. Except that I do. Grief is a funny thing. You can be ready for your "different" life in so many ways and not yet ready in so many others.
It was just a cell phone number. But it was a part of my Joe that was still here. It was the number I called when I first got back in touch with him and we started dating again after years apart. I had left him a message after that "Hey, it's Joe. I can't get to the phone. Leave a message." And he had called me back. And after talking briefly, he called me right back again because he forgot to tell me about his encounter with Greg Dulli. It was that phone number. And I didn't realize it when I picked up the phone to call customer service today, but I know it now. There was a lot packed in to canceling 7434. Grief is a funny thing and I'm glad that CSR Laura from AT&T understood it. She was wonderful.
After I hung up with Laura, I closed my office door and put Lost In The Woods by The Afghan Whigs on repeat for a bit. And I cried. It felt like the thing I needed to do.
Getting a new iPhone still feels a little empty without him here and canceling his phone line sure felt like shit. But like my friend Erin texted to me right after I did it, "joe probably would have told you to cancel it right away." And she is right - totally, 100% right.