Hello, readers, I’m back. From what I can tell, my absence didn’t exactly stop people from getting all emotional about things I’ve written, or things that people think I’ve written that I’ve not actually written. Oh, the joys of having a blog!
Anyhow, I thank everyone who offered condolences and kept me and my family in their prayers. As most people have correctly surmised, my dad’s death was unexpected. One night after exercising after work, he had chest and back pains. My mom wanted him to go to the doctor right away, but out of manly pride and a lifelong dislike and avoidance of doctors, he refused. The next day the symptoms persisted and he still refused to go to the doctor. The next day, a Saturday, still experiencing symptoms, he finally went to the doctor, who informed him that he had had a heart attack. They put a few stents in, but because he had waited so long, they couldn’t put all the stents in that they wanted to. He would have to come back in a couple of weeks for another operation, a few days after which he could return to work. On Tuesday the 10th, the hospital released my dad, and he came home. We talked that night before I left for my softball game, and he sounded upbeat and much stronger than when he had been in the hospital. Five and a half hours after our call ended, my brother called me to say that Dad had died in bed of another heart attack and that he hadn’t suffered.
I’m not going to wax poetical about losing a parent; it’s not something that can be understood by those who haven’t experienced it, and those who have already know all the feelings I’m currently going through.
What I will say is that one of the greatest gifts that a man can give his wife is financial security in the event of his death. This doesn’t mean that a man needs to be Mr. Moneybags and have a million-dollar life insurance policy, but it does mean that a wife should have cash easily and immediately available to her and that she also knows where the money is going to come from in the future. For starters, she’s going to have to spring for the burial or cremation, and that’s going to start around $6000 for the cheap end (cremation) and more likely be around $10,000 or more for a burial. Going into $10,000-worth of credit card debt or embarking on a payment plan because you died isn’t how you want your widow to kick off her new reality. On top of that huge expense and the emotional devastation, she’s going to have to talk to the lawyers and accountants and Social Security and whoever else. By taking care of her most critical survival need, you can ease one large area of fear. That’s love. I know I spend the majority of time talking on this blog about alpha moves, but financial security is one of the biggest, most important beta moves a man can offer.
If you are a married guy, or are thinking about getting married or are engaged, and you haven’t given much (or any) thought to your wife’s life after you die, I implore you to put a plan in place. If you keep putting off dealing with your mortality, someday will eventually become today, possibly a lot sooner than you expect, and most likely your widow will be the one dealing with the consequences of your procrastination while she is grieving. Giving your wife financial peace of mind in the middle of emotional devastation is a tremendous act of love.