Within days of his dad’s death, Dean Antonio got an unexpected email. The HR rep from his dad’s company asked him to call.
She wanted to talk to Dean about a check that was coming: the money from his dad’s last paycheck, bonuses he was due, stocks and his life insurance policy.
“It felt horrible to even have to think about money at that point,” Dean said. “And it felt, like, dirty to know that I was getting money because he died.”
Now, years after that sizable deposit landed in his bank account, Dean feels too guilty to use it. He can’t bring himself to look at or touch the money, and goes out of his way to avoid thinking about it.
“I haven’t taken a receipt from an ATM in two years because it’s, like, too painful to see the number up on the screen or on the piece of paper,” Dean said.
This story is a meditation on grief, money and Dean’s relationship with his dad as he searches for a path forward.
Our episode this week touches on depression and suicide. If you or someone you know is struggling with suicidal thoughts, anxiety or depression, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or text the Crisis Text Line at 741741. Here’s how to find help outside the U.S.