There was nothing evidently wrong with our dear child and the doctors had no explanation for his death. This side of heaven, we will never fully understand.
But Joe and I are changed people and changed parents because of this loss. We have embraced every blessing God has wanted to send us and we cherish each one because we can appreciate the privilege of raising each child in a way that most people cannot.
As part of that desire to relish raising our children, we carefully consider decisions that will impact them and actively try to prepare for any scenario that may come along. We want to protect them from hunger, homelessness, and so on. Not everything is within our power to prevent, though.
That brings me to the topic I want to discuss- loss.
How would your family get along without you?
Some things in this life are inevitable and death is one of them. We all hope to live long healthy lives, but accidents happen, illnesses occur, and unfortunately, violence prematurely ends promising lives also. As unpleasant as it is, we need to think about how our families would cope without us.
You may have done some of this in general terms with regards to life insurance, burial plot purchase, and making out a will. These are very good steps to take, but they require a world as we know it in order to benefit our families.
If your insurance company goes bankrupt or courts are hopelessly behind in handling legal matters because of government shut-downs, etc., how can you be sure that your family will be alright?
Even if the nation is stable and continues to putter along as it is now, losing you will be a huge tragedy in your own sphere of influence. If it were to happen tomorrow, the rest of the world may go on unaware while it feels like the end of the world to your family. If you are the “primary breadwinner,” the impact may be well more than emotional.
How can you better protect them?
The first way ties right in with what Joe and I have been advocating all along- stock a “deep larder.” If you are blessed with a wonderful church family and community like we are, your family will be inundated with casseroles and caramel cakes for a week or so. After that, other people’s lives resume normalcy while your family may still be reeling from their loss.
Keep several months’ worth of food on hand. Make sure no one will go hungry (or worry about being hungry) while they get back on their feet.
Second, have tangible items of value that could either be used to sell and raise money to pay a mortgage or to earn a living (tools of trade, etc).
If one of you has been tinkering with the idea of developing a hobby (like cutting hair, sewing, woodworking, on-site field dressing/butchering, shearing wool & spinning yarn etc.) into a business, now would be a good time to get the needed materials and practice.
If you need more training, you should look for that while it is readily available also. Having alternative sources of income could be crucial since we all know how high the unemployment rate is at present.
Consider whether your spouse (and/or older children) know where you keep things of value and important papers. You may have put grandpa’s treasured sidearm or grandma’s engagement ring up in the top of the closet for safe-keeping, but does anyone else know that?
The “wolves at the door” may be literal or figurative. They may need that gun to defend themselves and you’d rather they sell the ring than lose the only car, right?
It may go without saying, but I will anyway- if you are in debt, get rid of it and don’t incur more. If it seems hard to make ends meet now, how much harder would it be without your income?
Going beyond the insurance policy commercials and thinking about the impact on your family in a less than ideal world could be one of the best things you can do to prepare.