I remember one day, years ago, my husband telling me that he was getting life insurance. My response was an eye-roll and a simple “nothing is going to happen to you.”
Why would anyone think that their perfectly healthy 48-year-old spouse will die? That only happens to other people, right?
That was my feeling. Nothing was going to destroy our happy life. We were young, raising our two little girls together. We had great family and friends. Life would go on that way and we would grow old together.
I was very wrong.
On October 9, 2011, my husband went out for a run. When he arrived home, he had a heart attack and died almost instantly.
I was devastated. I lost my husband and the father of my two daughters.
Then another thought hit me. What was going to happen to us? I had become a stay-at-home mom 12 years earlier when our oldest daughter was born. My husband worked as an attorney.
Now what? Did I have to go back to work full-time? Who would hire me after being out of the job market for 12 years? How was I now going to support the three of us? Was I going to lose our house?
I vaguely remembered that conversation about life insurance with my husband years earlier. I also remembered dismissing him. My hope was that he had not listened to me and did not assume that nothing was going to happen to him. I also wondered how I could have been so stupid and prayed that he was smarter than I was.
A close friend of his called me to let me know that my husband had taken out life insurance on himself. No matter what I had said, he wanted the girls and I to be taken care of “just in case”. Unfortunately, “just in case” happened to us.
The life insurance did not give us the lifestyle of the rich and famous. It did give me the ability to keep my daughters and I in our home. This was so very important because my girls had already lost so much. I did not want them to lose anything more. It also enabled me to get a part-time job instead of full-time so that I could still be around for the girls at a time when they needed me most.
The most important thing it has given me is security. I can sleep soundly without huge financial worries. There are many worries when you are widowed at 45. It comforted me to know that this one did not weigh heavily on me.
My thoughts on life insurance have completely turned around since that conversation with my husband so many years ago.
I would never “eye-roll” a conversation like that again. While unlikely for most, tragedies do happen for some of us and you can never be too prepared.
I was extremely lucky that my husband took this seriously and took steps to provide for his family “just in case”. It was the greatest gift he ever gave me.
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Stacy was a stay-at-home mom/part-time preschool teacher whose life was turned upside down in 2011 when her husband passed away suddenly of a heart attack. She is raising her two fabulous daughters, now ages 18 and 20, who are turning into wonderful young women. In 2016, she started a blog about her experience as a young widow, The Widow Wears Pink. This led her to write for other publications including Huffington Post, Today.com, Scary Mommy, Grown & Flown, Kveller, Modern Loss, Thought Catalog, and many more. In 2018 she started Living the Second Act with fellow writer Mimi Golub. Today, Stacy and her daughters are happily living their “new normal” while always keeping her husband’s spirit alive.