I’m a casual member of a Facebook group for parents who have lost their children. We are an emotional and easily triggered bunch, to say the least.
Not long ago, a mother posted a question to the group, asking whether others knew if her child’s life insurance would payout based on his cause of death. The cause was an accidental drug overdose.
The mother asked the group at large because that’s how all of our children died and surely of the 10,000+ group members, many parents would be able to advise her.
I read every single answer in the thread — there were hundreds of them. The answer was definitively yes. An accident is an accident, no matter the cause.
However, one response in the thread was written by an outraged mother who couldn’t believe all these parents had the balls to talk about money and payouts when they’d just lost their child.
I thoughtfully read her outcry and completely understood where she was coming from because it seems out of place to talk about insurance payouts in a parents’ grief group.
But I admit there was a small part of me that wished I’d had it.
Soon after my son was born I began receiving all the “Welcome to Parenthood — Buy our product” paraphernalia in the mail. Plenty of this solicitation included children's insurance policy propaganda and it appalled me.
Who in their right mind is looking at their newborn thinking about his death? I sure as hell wasn’t.
The thought of getting paid out for a possible misfortune of my child was hideous. I disregarded every single notion of it.
Fast forward twenty-eight years and there I sat in a grief group looking at hundreds of parents who had collected insurance payouts after losing their child.
Having just absorbed the incredible cost of death on my own, I could only imagine how my burden would have been lightened a little if only I’d had insurance.
When oogling over your precious little child there is absolutely no way to predict that many years down the road, he could lose his life while you’re unemployed due to a global pandemic.
What are the odds of that EVER happening? It sounds delusional to even consider.
As I have since realized by being part of a group of several thousand other parents, the odds feel significant. Who would have thought?
Having car insurance and life insurance are two completely different beasts. One is the law, we have no choice but to fork over premiums whether we ever make a claim or not.
The other is a God-forsaken gamble we shouldn’t have to think about.
As a young, single mother back in the day, I couldn’t imagine having to add one more monthly bill to my plate. It seemed so unnecessary. Now, as an older, wiser, unemployed, former mother I can only sit here and wish that I had considered it.
The sudden passing of my son has certainly made me look differently at life and death, and what we leave behind for someone else to take care of.
I’ve never had my own life insurance either. In hindsight, if I had passed on before my son it would have been a nightmare for him trying to manage my affairs with very little means.
Now that he’s gone I could say I don’t care what happens with my affairs, but that would be selfish of me. He has two children, my grandchildren, and I’d like them to be well set up after my eventual passing.
I started a small trust fund for his children a couple of years ago and added to it the money he had in his bank account after his death. But it doesn’t feel like enough now that I’ve been through what I have.
I am now shopping for my own life insurance after learning the hard way.
No matter who we end up leaving behind, someone will end up having to look after our affairs. Wouldn’t it be nice to leave behind a blessing instead of a burden?
If you enjoyed this story, here’s my non-intrusive way of ushering you toward my newsletter. When you subscribe, I’ll know you’re cool with hearing from me once in a while.