When we lost our daughter last year, we were supported by hundreds of people, many of whom we barely knew or didn’t know at all. We ended up with gift money totaling over $700, presumably to either do something nice for ourselves or cover expenses related to Kaylee’s passing.
Our expenses for Kaylee ended up being next to nothing. The hospital stay was already covered with money we had set aside in a Health Savings Account that had to be used that year anyway. The funeral home waived all of their expenses (something we did not expect and which I later discovered was really due to a communication error on their part that they let slide for us). The parking lot owners adjacent to our church waived their normal usage fee for the memorial service. We had numerous expenses like this that were just taken care of.
We had $700 and no real expenses to deal with. So we set the money aside, thinking we’d do something with it to carry on Kaylee’s legacy. We just didn’t feel right about using it for us.
A few weeks ago, a blog I follow told the story of a young woman who had just died suddenly along with her full-term baby. She left behind a husband and a 19-month-old son. The story didn’t contain much information and didn’t even include the names of the 29-year-old wife and mother or her family. But the story left me in tears as I considered the place her husband is in right now. I know the pain of losing a daughter; I can only imagine the magnitude of the pain of losing my wife.
The blog that posted this is a financial blog, and part of the purpose in posting the story was to note the importance of life insurance. This family didn’t have life insurance and the husband was left with a number of bills for the hospital, funeral, and burial. The widowed husband made a point of telling his brother to get life insurance so he wouldn’t be left in a similar predicament.
Jamie and I have life insurance policies, so we’re good to go there. We also have that “Kaylee money,” and the blog post about this family in need had a link to contribute to a Paypal account that was setup to assist them. It seemed obvious to us that some of that Kaylee money belonged with this family.
I don’t know where the rest of her money will go. I don’t know if I’ll even have the chance to let this family know about Kaylee and the generous people who made the gift to this family possible.
But I’m excited to see something good come from such deep pain.