When I was only 16 years old, my father passed away after a short illness. My parents had never purchased life insurance, so the only help we received was from the Department of Veterans Affairs, since my father was a disabled veteran. I think we received approximately $2,000. My father’s funeral cost at least double that figure.
My mother was now saddled with grief, debt and an uncertain future. I watched her hand-wring over how she would pay for the funeral. She didn’t know if she could provide for my sister and me. She freely admitted that we probably wouldn’t be able to keep our house. My sister was in college and my mom didn’t know if my sister would be able to stay there. My own college career was in deep jeopardy.