A lot happens when you lose anyone who is close to you. And when this is a person who could easily have outlived you, such as your spouse, it becomes even more difficult than losing a parent or a grandparent. After all, when you said “til death do us part,” you probably meant for those words to carry on longer than they did. Maybe 50 years or so more, even. But unfortunately, we are all just playing the hands that we are dealt in this life, even when it ends. Unfortunately, the emotional trauma is just one of the many things that you are going to have to go through after your spouse passes on.
For one thing, the IRS does not understand that when a person dies, they should no longer have to pay taxes. When they say that death and taxes are the only two constant and unavoidable things in the world, however, they really do mean that in a chronological sense. The year they died, if they earned income, they still need to have their taxes filed for it. And for the next six years, the IRS is going to bother you about your deceased spouse. They will not listen to reason, and they will not extend you any kind of courtesy. Income taxes are not merciful, you know.
Another thing you are going to have to contend with, both financially and emotionally, is that their bills are going to live on for a time. A person’s major expenses can often outlive them for several years in the files of various computers that they were involved with. If your spouse had credit cards, student loans or medical bills, for instance, you will most likely get hassled by debt collectors for a long time. And as unethically as they might act, they will undoubtedly claim that you have some sort of a moral duty to pay what your spouse owed. Just hang up.