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- The tragic death of my husband at age 37 has devastated me.
- We didn’t have a will, but we both had life insurance. These checks were a safety net when I needed them.
- I used his life insurance money to buy myself a house and start rebuilding my life.
My husband and I only talked about what would happen if one of us died twice. One such occasion was when we were reviewing and comparing the life insurance plans at her employer and mine. Then the conversation was if one of us died, not when.
It was found that when was a sunny day in June 2017.
My husband, Rémi, died very suddenly just weeks after his 37th birthday, leaving me a completely crushed widow at the age of 31.
Rémi and I had always been a great team. We’ve lived an extraordinary life in our 11 short years together, navigating international moves, immigrating to Europe, and supporting each other through multiple career changes.
We were united in our love of planning and making plans. And yet, we had no plan for this, worst-case scenario. When he died, there was no will. But there was life insurance.
2 life insurance checks were my safety net
In the nightmarish haze of those first weeks after my husband’s death, amid endless administrative tasks and paperwork, there were conversations with life insurance providers, his and mine.
I will be forever grateful to our employers for the work they did behind the scenes to ensure funds were disbursed in a timely manner. Within the first month I received two checks from the insurance company, one for a full year of my husband’s salary and the other for a much smaller amount through my own insurance plan, to help cover funeral expenses.
The first check immediately went into the savings account we had set aside for a down payment for our first home, to which we had contributed slowly, but steadily, over time. The second check got me through the first six months as I adjusted my expenses and lifestyle to my new single income, with our family’s highest income now gone.
Just to talk about the logistics of losing my partner – not the utter destruction I experienced losing the love of my life – amazingly, it could have been worse. And it would have been worse if our living situation had been what it was even two short years earlier.
In 2013, Rémi and I were forced to leave the good life we had worked hard to build during the six years we had lived in Switzerland. Our visas were unceremoniously rejected when we reapplied that year, as we have done every year, and we quickly and painfully packed our lives, returning home to Canada, bruised, in shock and unemployed.
If my husband had passed away while we were living in Switzerland, I would have been without a support system, left alone to navigate the complicated healthcare system in my third language, and probably would have had to end up with a huge bill. hospital to save unsuccessful lives. efforts. Any life insurance could have been used to pay hospital bills, send his body back to Canada and fund my resettlement. It would have been worse.
If Rémi had died just three years earlier, shortly after we returned to Canada, while he was looking for a job and getting back on his feet, and I was still working as a freelance dance artist, the situation would have been just as dark. There would have been no life insurance, no stable income, no financial safety net.
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I used the money to help rebuild my life
I’m not looking for silver linings when I consider the many ways it could have been worse. There are not any. The worst has happened. But there are saving graces. Life insurance was one of those saving graces.
Over the years, the savings account for a down payment on a house grew, and in 2020 I used life insurance and our previous savings to buy my first home.
I have taken small but important steps toward building a new life since my husband died. Leaving city life to buy my first home was more of a giant leap than a small one. I now live in the safety net that my husband’s hard work, determination and tragic death made possible. I live in the house that was to be ours. It’s our home.
I got life insurance when I needed it most. Now, as a small business owner, I no longer have life insurance. I could buy a policy as a freelancer, but I don’t have dependents, so it’s not high on my priority list. As I work to rebuild my life from the rubble of loss, I hope to have children one day and will make buying life insurance a priority when the time comes so that if the worst happens again , there will be at least some saving grace in the form of a safety net.
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