So….it’s been over a year and I still don’t have a job. I bet some of you have been wondering about that but were too polite to ask. A few of you did ask, but not in a nosy way. More in a, “Hey, are you going to be okay?” way. I’ve been totally good with that.
For the last year, I’ve been living on the grace of God, the generosity of my family, friends and community, social security checks and life insurance money.
Thirteen years ago, Vance and I welcomed our third baby into this world. We’d bought a house and at the time, had our own business. We decided it was time to make a will and to buy life insurance. We’ve always lived pretty frugally, but we knew that this was an expense we couldn’t skip.
Nobody wants to think about, much less talk about the idea of dying. Or of their spouse dying. It’s morbid. It’s uncomfortable. It makes us cry. But the thing is, death comes for us all in the end. None of us are making it out alive, so we might as well have a plan for when our time comes.
In the unlikely (but all-together way too real) event that something would happen to one of us, Vance and I didn’t want the kids’ lives to be disrupted any more than necessary. We bought life insurance policies that would be enough to pay for funeral expenses, pay off some bills and allow us to stay home for a minimum of one year should the worst happen.
I don’t tell you that because I relish the idea of having the world know my financial business. I tell you this because the worst did happen to me. Vance died unexpectedly. Suddenly I was left with four kids and no job. Thankfully, we had decided to pay those premiums every month. This allowed me to remain at home for a while longer, to pay the bills and to provide some sense of normalcy for our kids.
This insurance money is not going to last forever. That wasn’t the plan. Eventually, sooner all the time, in fact, I will need to return to the workforce. Life insurance has however, allowed me some breathing room. Some time to grieve. Days to stay in bed crying and days to go to counseling. Days to hold my babies tight and days to still be their primary teacher.
Right after Vance died, going back to a job I’d already had would have been hard enough. Searching for a job while in the early stages of grieving would have been nearly impossible. I’m really glad I didn’t have to.
I fully understand that not everyone is in this position. In fact, from the social media widows groups I’m in, I would say that mine is a very different position than most. I’m very aware of that and thankful for Vance’s taking care of us in this way, even though he’s no longer physically here.
The thing is, I’m not the last widow on earth. Others will follow this unwanted, incredibly difficult road. A good financial plan makes it just a little easier.
If you don’t already have a plan, can you do me a favor and make one? Like soon? This month maybe? By the end of the year, for sure? Because it may seem like you can’t afford life insurance right now, but I can promise you -if the unthinkable happens- you can’t afford not to.