The Consequences of Loosing a Loved One - Part 1

Visited my Papa the other day at his final resting place somewhere here in Cebu. Several things went through my head during our recent visit. And this post is about those things.

Photo by my dear brother, Papa Jo

Remembering Papa

My Papa passed away after loosing his fight with cancer sometime in 2001. He was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer in 2000, underwent chemotherapy and all the necessary treatment for several months. Surgery wasn't an option for his case because there was this big lump between his lungs and heart wherein the doctors where afraid that if they do take the lump out, my father might not make it after the surgery.

I really can't remember all the details of his condition that time as I was busy being a 2nd year college student amidst other problems at that time. It was my sister who would regularly accompany him to his doctors.

When he succumbed to his fight to the big C, the following items describe our family condition:
- I was about to enter my 3rd year in college;
- My sister recently gave birth to her first born, as a single mom;
- The house we were living in was still under mortgage;
- The business that Mama and Papa put up, had him (Papa) as the main man for the operation. The forwarding business that the family had was the source of bread and butter for the family.

So the consequences of loosing a loved one who's the breadwinner of the family in the middle of building his empire are the following:

A daughter loosing her Papa - As a student, I really had a hard time concentrating in my studies with all the things going on in our house during that time. I even had our Physics Lab teacher approach me and asked me why my grades were down, when he knew I could do better. I didn't really answer him but just bowed my head down because I knew he was right.

But even with Papa gone, I was able to graduate college without having to work. I remember asking him when I was still a freshman if I could go work part-time and be a working student. And as a working student himself during his time, he didn't allow me. He knew the demands and the hardships of being a working student. Of having to balance the demands of work to those of being a student. Even though he was gone, I was able to graduate from college as a full-time student. How? Because of forward thinking done by my parents.

I was a CAP scholar, so a part of my tuition fee was already addressed. (I know, I know.. Some of you might have had troubles with CAP and other similar institutions, but I recommend that you read my other post regarding pre-need companies to learn more about them.) With my CAP scholarship, only the first 4 years of my college years were partially addressed. My last year in college was paid for by the life insurance proceeds that we received as beneficiaries.

Speaking of life insurance, yes I am a life insurance advocate, that's why I have created a career in the life insurance industry. But one thing that nailed the importance of life insurance in my being was when my Lola (Papa's mama) told me how Papa got hold of a life insurance program a few months prior to his diagnosis.

You see, his life insurance agent approached him and proposed to him a P1.5M policy amount that would cost him around P15,000. To those who still get confused what a policy amount is, that means if ever should something happen to the insured, in this case Papa, the beneficiaries, us, would get P1.5M as a death benefit.

Now, P15,000 back in 2000 was a significant amount already, even today... Considering the different conditions mentioned above that my father was in when he was presented with that proposal, he still decided to take the insurance program. And with that decision he was able to provide the full payment for the house we were living in, I graduated college focused on my studies just as he wished when he was still alive, Mama was able to continue the business for a few months before making the tough decision of going to the United States to find a greener pasture, and all other consequences brought by his life insurance proceeds.

Unfortunately, the insurance proceeds that we received were only good for a few months. But nevertheless, it was able to buy us some time to adjust to the situation - fatherless, a widow, main man is gone in business. Everything changed for us... Tough decisions had to be made...

We do miss him... But at least we have 1 more angel up there looking over us. And he did prove it when I needed it the most - a few days before leaving for my dear son's open heart surgery... (Now that's another story!)

Now, after all those tough decisions made, I can't seem to imagine if my father decided NOT to take the insurance program. Can you?

What if YOU were in my shoes back then? What if YOUR father decided to save off the P15,000, placed it in the bank for "emergency reasons". What would the P15,000 have done for YOUR FAMILY?

What if you were in my father's shoes? What would you do? Can you imagine your kid being fatherless, your  wife being a widow and forced to go out of the country to provide for your orphaned kids?

Papa had no idea that he was going to be diagnosed with the big C a few months after getting the insurance program. But WHAT IF HE DID NOT TAKE IT?? How long would have the P15,000 have lasted for us... It doesn't need a genius to know the answer to that question...

- I would have pretty much ended up a working student, or worst stopped studying altogether;
- My mother would have been forced to sell / close the business immediately as she wasn't really hands-on on the operations, she was more on the admin part.
- My mother would have been forced to sell the house that we were living in since we won't be able to pay the monthly mortgage anymore...
- And so many more consequences that widows and orphans undergo especially here in the Philippines.

So Pa, THANK YOU FOR MAKING THAT LOVING DECISION when you purchased that insurance program. I do hope you help Sir Tony Boy, your agent, adjust to his new life there with you.. And give my thanks to him as well for introducing you to the insurance program. Without Sir Tony Boy, I really don't know where we would be by now...

(Part 2 of this article would be on WHAT IF PAPA DIED IN A DIFFERENT SITUATION? What if we were super rich?? Stay tuned! ) 

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