My mom and my stepdad Paul were together for 16 years, we moved in with him when I was in middle school, and ever since then I've gotten to see love like I never imagined existed.
A few years back Paul and his "ex" wife learned that their divorce hadn't been finalized because of technicalities. They hadn't bothered to file again since they were already living separately and had new partners. Two days before they planned to sign the papers once more, my stepdad passed away from a major heart attack.
Both my mom and Paul supported our family. Due to my mom's credit, they agreed to put all their assets, bank accounts etc. in his name because it was so much easier. Hawaii doesn't recognize common law marriages so my mom has been fighting to keep the life they shared- things as basic as what's in their house, cars, and his personal effects.
Probate takes a while to get all this sorted out. Meanwhile my mom is struggling to keep paying rent, legal fees, making payments on the cars she's been forbidden to drive until we know if they'll be put in her name or his "wife's".
It's so hard to see her struggle in the months after his death instead of having time to grieve. We both miss Paul and my mom's life has been flipped enough because the love of her life is gone. Seeing her also have to worry about her future - and fight for things we thought wouldn't even be questioned - is the hardest thing. I know this isn't what Paul would have wanted for her. Honestly, any help you can give to keep her life in order until this legal mess is over would be such a bless