By Agent and content contributor Kira Schnell-Harrison
February is a month that focuses on celebrating love. For me it also signifies great loss.
On February 22, 1998 – the year I was in 6th grade – my father passed away unexpectedly, leaving behind a wife and five children. Sixteen years to the day later, my father’s brother passed away.
While I am often given happy little reminders of them, from a bad “Dad joke” to seeing a “Grateful Dead dancing bear” to someone wearing a badly mismatched outfit, some days I am faced with the reminder of them and what they left behind.
You see, my family is one of the lucky ones.
We were lucky enough that years and years ago someone approached my parents to discuss life insurance.
My mom was a stay-at-home Mom and my Dad was a physician in the neighboring small town. Thankfully, they saw the value in life insurance- as so many do- and secured a plan that allowed for us to maintain some normalcy in the darkest time of our lives.
Through the life insurance policy from my Dad, we were able to keep our family home. My Mom was able to continue to stay home with us and we kept up the activities my siblings and I had been participating in. It even allowed for money to be set aside to pay for our college.
Because of this life insurance policy, we were able to grieve, but my mom did not have to worry about how food would be put on the table. We were able to grieve and not worry about having to move back to Minnesota for family to take care of us. We were able to grieve and slowly stand back up.
Which brings me to today.
I came into the office feeling the tug on my heart because it’s February 21, and was thinking of the last time I saw my Uncle.
Then my 11:00 appointment came in.
She was a grieving widow and her 8-year-old son. Their husband and father recently passed away from brain cancer and the only life insurance he had that paid out was the small policy from his union. She wanted to make sure that if she passed away her son would be well taken care of. We worked together to put a plan in place that she was comfortable with and could provide funds for her down the road if needed.
Throughout the meeting we both shed a few tears knowing that she is leaving a lasting legacy for her son if something were to happen to her.
Moments later another insured walked in needing assistance with filing her father’s life insurance claim. I sat with her and walked through the process of filling out the paperwork and navigating everything we would need. While she shared stories about her father and how grateful her siblings are that he thought to leave a legacy through a life insurance policy to help cover the expenses incurred from his passing, as they weren’t in a financial position to pay out of pocket.
There is a saying that life insurance is the “final love letter to your family.” It is so true. Family dynamics are hard, they don’t always go the way we want or feel the way we want. But, a significant and loving way to show loved ones how much you truly care is through this final love letter.
I am happy for the days that I am reminded that I’m a living legacy, an example of someone who will leave a legacy for their family, a safeguard that insurance delivers.
As insurance Agents, we have the power to help others do the same.
When you reflect on that, it’s amazing to realize what an impact we make on those around us.
Help those around you to live and leave a legacy for the ones they love most.