Taylor Rebelez

Taylor Rebelez

December 31, 2018 was the day my life changed, forever. Losing a parent is something no child should have to go through, yet sadly we have no control over what happens in our lives. Before my mom passed, she financially took care of all my needs; my senior year as we were looking at colleges and having to pay for the application fees my mom never hesitated to be there for me. My mom was only 38 years old when she passed, she made me realize you are never “too young” to get life insurance to help your family not worry about financial situations after death. During the college applications I had to worry about how much I would have to pay out of pocket to attend to my university since I had nothing, no savings, no income, and no life insurance. If my mom had life insurance, I believe it would have been more of a relief and help to attain my degree. After my mom passed, we lost everything. I had to live with friends and get a job while playing sports and going to school. We lost our house and most of our personal belongings after our house got broken into months later. My mother’s life insurance could have helped us feel less hopeless and possibly the comfort and peace to grieve that anyone would want after the loss of a parent. After I graduated high school, working became the only thing I was doing, I worked long hours to provide for myself, trying to save up for college, and ensure that my family was well taken care of. Life insurance would have helped me pay my college fees off right away, going from having no money to having to pay one thousand dollars to my university is not an easy job, life insurance could have helped take the stress off of that so I could have applied to more scholarships than I did. Life insurance is something that many people do not think of, although deaths occur daily, life insurance can be the most beneficial outlook after someone passes away due to the costs of a funeral and other expenses after death and then financial needs after the funerals and other costs. When I lost my hero, best friend, and mom my life was terrible; but I knew that there was something I could do to help more families like mine in need. My mom passed away due to alcoholism. Alcohol is ranked at the third highest leading cause of death now. It is a very serious issue that does not get much awareness. My degree would be in Bachelor of Science in Counseling with an Emphasis in Addiction, Chemical Dependency, and Substance Abuse. Becoming a counselor, I can help adults seeking recovery and children that live with alcoholic parents or drug addicts and help them seek the guidance that I wish my family could have gotten to prevent my mom’s passing at such a young age.
Erica Gahm

Erica Gahm

On September 30, 2012 my mother passed away from stage four colon cancer. She left behind my father, a middle aged man with bipolar disorder and depression, my brother, a ten-year-old who had previously won his own battle against cancer and was left with autism as a result, and me, an insecure thirteen-year-old that felt like her entire world had been shattered. She was the kind of mother that would make homemade Halloween costumes and would build a tent out of miscellaneous pieces of fabric and PVC pipes that spanned the entire living room because her daughter wanted a camp out themed birthday party. She was loved by the three us and the community, which made her death even more heartbreaking. Only adding to the emotional anguish her life insurance plan was only worth five thousand dollars. For a family of three, with a father working full time and a ten-year-old who still needed copious amounts of medications and cognitive therapy, and not to mention the mountain of medical bills from the four years of experimental cancer treatment programs that could not save my mother, that five thousand dollars seemed like nothing. Her funeral ended up costing my father twelve thousand dollars because my mother’s family insisted on a lavish catholic funeral. My father would have not agreed to such a costly funeral service if it were not for him not wanting to upset her parents and in turn her parents promising to pay for half of the costs. That was almost eight years ago, and my father has still not seen the other half of the twelve thousand dollars. The reason behind my mother’s insufficient life insurance was that despite her being sick for four years no one wanted to believe that she would lose her battle against cancer. Eight years on, my father still works full-time while attempting to manage his own depression and taking care of my autistic brother who has also been recently diagnosed with depression. I sometimes wonder if my mother had had adequate life insurance how that would have changed how I am paying for college; it would have probably helped significantly. Since age sixteen I have been working fifty-hour work weeks during the summer trying to save up for college because the money my parents originally saved for me to attend college had gone towards medical bills and my mother’s funeral expenses. Last summer I was working two jobs, one full time and one part time. I am currently working fifteen hours a week while taking fifteen credit hours and keeping a 3.53 grade point average. I have already had to take out a loan in order to afford my education, but I refuse to let money keep me from pursuing my dream of becoming a film maker. As of today, I have saved up enough to get me through the first semester of next year. It might be an uphill battle, but I will never stop fighting for my future.

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