Just one year later our grandfather fell terminally ill and required very expensive hospital care until he passed. My grandmother could no longer afford to support 2 children on top of the medical bills that had piled due to the lack of life insurance, and since I was the oldest it was my brother who would be given up to the foster system. He was only 2 years old.
Any extra money we had saved went to paying medical bills and overdue rent for our section 8 home. I was 7 so I was not old enough to work and my grandmother’s only source of income was her disability check. Unable to keep up with payments we fell homeless. After 2 years of living on a friends couch my grandmother was able to save up enough money to purchase a used car and a down payment on a section 8 home. My mother who had been battling depression from losing my father and her only son came out of seclusion and moved in with us, helping us pay the monthly bills.
My mother lived with us for only a few months before she was unexpectedly killed. With her lack of life insurance my grandmother and I fell again on hard times with the expensive cost of the funeral and any extra money set aside for education was once again removed. As time went on we were able to catch up but was never able to set any extra money aside for college.
I lived alone with my grandmother up until age 15 when she developed Alzheimer’s disease and had to be under full care at a nursing home. With no other family left to live with, I was put into the foster system until I was 18. I successfully graduated high school and have very high aspirations to be an accountant but I am lacking funding in order to pay for a degree.
I believe that if proper life insurance policies were put into place I would not be in such a difficult financial situation by relying on purely student loans to better my future. I work a minimum wage job to help pay rent, but I will be sure to set up the appropriate life insurance policy so that in my death my children will not have to worry about their future like I have. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to share my story.
Unbeknownst to me at the time, I had lost so much more. Upon my father’s passing, he left us with funeral and medical expenses that his insurance would not cover. Because he did not have any form of life insurance, the financial burden of his death was now the responsibility of my mother and me. Even though my mother works night shifts as a neonatal nurse and her commute is nearly two hours, she was forced to pick up extra shifts to support my family. Though I already had a job and I worked about ten hours a week, I now work anywhere from twenty-five to thirty-five hours a week, and I am also a full-time high honor student. Even though the death of my father forced me to realize the importance of cherishing time with my family, I do not see them very often because of our busy schedules. I also sacrificed my social life and the joy that every senior in high school should experience. Instead of football games and homecoming, I had to deal with mourning and the possibility that I would not attend college because of my family’s financial troubles.
If my father had a life insurance policy, we would not have to work ourselves to the bone and sacrifice our physical and emotional well-being to keep up with expenses. I would not have to worry so intensely about the future of my education on top of the crippling grief that I have felt over the last five months. If this devastating experience has taught me anything, it is this: financial planning for these situations is absolutely invaluable. I will not soon forget the stress and despair that I have experienced, and I now realize that to have a life insurance policy is to throw your surviving family members a crucial lifeline. Though no one can ever prepare you for the trauma of losing a parent, life insurance allows you to grieve without the constant stress of financial burden, and for that reason, it is an absolutely essential precaution.
I love and miss you so much, Dad. Thank God I will see you again.