April 19, 1995, was a day of tragedy for many Oklahomans. Most people living in the state, especially in the OKC metro area, remember exactly what they were doing that horrific morning. At the time, my wife and I were living in Enid and had just brought home our new baby, so it was an idyllic time of adjustment and bonding for our family.
Being a sleep-deprived new dad, I was still in bed when my wife startled me with the news. A bomb had just gone off at the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building and would change the lives of hundreds of people forever. Our first concern was for my sister’s safety because she worked less than two blocks from the site. After trying to reach her several times, she connected with my wife to let us know she was okay. Her normal route to work took her past the front of the Murrah Building – only feet from where the truck of explosives parked. Had she been five minutes earlier that day, she would have passed the site at just the wrong time.
We’ve now had a quarter-century to process and heal from this catastrophe, but I can only imagine what the aftermath was like for those directly impacted: more than 680 people were injured and 168 died including 19 children. How many sleepless nights have their families endured since? How many tears have been shed? The more than 12,000 rescue and relief workers undoubtedly carry scars – both physical and emotional – from their experiences as well.
The people that died in the Oklahoma City bombing were going about their normal Wednesday morning routines. They could never have imagined their families’ and friends’ lives would irreversibly be altered in an instant. Despite wishing we could, we can’t stop tragedies from happening, and as humans, we have to accept our own mortality. However, we can plan and prepare to protect loved ones should the worst-case scenario happen to us.
Life insurance is a subject we all have some discomfort talking about, but I’d encourage you to think of it as ‘choices’ insurance. If someone dies and has adequately protected his or her family through insurance policies, it gives the survivors choices. It provides some continuity of financial security and time to grieve, process, and plan for their new future without having to think immediately about making ends meet.
My Personal Story
My wife was previously married to a man who passed away from a brain tumor. She and her husband had protected themselves, so she didn’t suffer financially. She was able to go back to school, work only part time, and set up education funding for their two young children. To put it another way, she was able to process her grief and adjust to her new life without the pressure of trying to make ends meets.
Nobody wants to dwell on thoughts of their own death and nobody likes the idea of spending money on something they won’t enjoy themselves. But life insurance is not about insuring your
life; it’s about protecting the lifestyle, peace of mind, and security of the ones you love. The grief that comes along with a death can be debilitating. Take it from someone who works frequently with family members of those who have passed on. It’s beneficial for them to be able to deal with the situation from a place of security rather than responding to the threat of financial uncertainty, too.
If a tragedy should ever happen in Oklahoma like it did 25 years ago, make sure you’ve done everything you can to set your loved ones on a firm foundation as they adjust to their new life.
Blog by Chuck Lipps, Wealth Advisor
*Photo by Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum
Category: Financial Service Team