It’s my first time dying, I’m just trying to get use to it,
she said in a forced, flippant voice as we got to the heart of why she was calling.
Her words faltered and she coughed.
This is certainly not the type of call I ever expected to take.
You see, when the call began, she was questioning her coverage as many employees do. The majority of calls are from employees asking about and confirming their coverage. They have read their benefit booklet (or not) and have clarification questions and we provide this clarity. But this was different, obviously.
Her doctor’s had pronounced her terminal with anywhere from three weeks to three months. She was doing her best in the time she had left to get her affairs in order. In her words; that’s all she’d been doing since receiving the tragic news.
This ‘time’ struck me and continues to trouble.
For this woman her final days were spent planning and preparing. Using her limited and waning energy to ensure there was enough for the kids, her husband–protection for those left behind. Other than the group life policy, there was no other individual coverage. There was the insurance on the mortgage, which will pay her portion of the mortgage, but what about all of the other expenses. Funeral, taxes, other—what about the lack of a will? What about probate?
Some will shrug and say, not my issue, I’m gone, I don’t want anyone getting rich off my death. Getting rich off of someone’s death is not even part of the equation. Insurance is so those left don’t carry a financial loss in addition to the loss of a beloved family member.
And this was her train of thought as she was talking to me.
If it wasn’t important, she wouldn’t have called. If it didn’t mean anything, she would have shrugged as well and said, “well, I’ll leave it to them to deal with.” But she didn’t think that way when she knew the end was near. As her final days came to a close, her number one concern was to ensure those left behind would be taken care of the way that she would have taken care of them had she been there to provide it herself.
The sad part, as I see it, is that she used her final time having to worry about these things instead of just being with the family who loved her dearly.
Don’t go out with regrets. Take the time now, meet with someone who can put everything in place so when you are not there, everything carries on as you would have wished it to.
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