The morning of Parent’s Weekend I anticipated to hear from my mom, instead I received a call from a Missouri State Patrol officer. My mom had a heart attack in the car and had been rushed to the University Hospital on campus. The officer drove my nephew to me and as soon as he arrived, we ran to the hospital. Her prognosis was not looking good. I called my family to tell them what happened and experienced the saddest moment of my life: telling my grandmother that she would never speak to her daughter again. Later that evening I held my mothers hand for the last time as her lungs expanded and contracted one final, heartbreaking time.
The months that followed have been the hardest of my life. In addition to the extreme emotional, intellectual, and physical turmoil that comes with the loss of a parent, I was caught in a very difficult financial situation. My mom did not have any form of life insurance so the financial burden of her passing fell firmly onto the shoulders of my brothers and I. I was forced to move out of my college dorm room and get a job that offers housing and meal plans as compensation for work as well as a job serving tables for school expenses and bills. I have been and still am working upwards of fifty hours per week while attending seventeen credit hours in school. If my mom had had life insurance, my brothers and I would not have to make such drastic lifestyle changes. I would be able to focus more on my academics and would not be worrying about whether or not I will be able to afford to return to school in the fall.
The experience has taught me a valuable lesson. While we could never prepare for the profound emotional pain of losing a parent, we could have been better prepared the financial burden. Life insurance would have eased the transition to life without my mother by taking the financial weight off of our shoulders. When you lose a parent, you lose a best friend, a mentor, and a companion. You should not have to sacrifice your aspirations as well.