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because bad things happen…

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Bad things happen to good people.

I had a phone call on the weekend to say that my cousin - who had been working abroad, in Europe - was found dead in his apartment on Friday. Which is not that much fun, he was only 25. We weren’t close at all, but on the other hand, he and his brother were the only cousins that we ever really spent time with. At the moment, the police have ruled out murder (!) but his death is still being investigated.

I’m not sure what the arrangements are likely to be for the funeral, I suspect that there isn’t any insurance to pay for repatriation so he could be buried overseas. In any case there may well be a memorial service, which I would like to go to.

Fortunately for me, I keep back spare days off just for such an occurrence. It might sound morbid, but I actually like to be prepared for unexpected funerals - I know quite a few old people, including my own grandparents. So, I make sure that there’s always a bit of time that I can take off, and I have an appropriate outfit. It might seem a little flippant, but in the event of a real crisis, it’s just one less thing to worry about.

Let’s face it, bad things happen. Sometimes really bad things happen. Being able to not worry about money when there are more important things going on, is the gift that good, sensible personal finance gives.

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14 comments for “because bad things happen…”

  1. Sorry to hear about your loss.


    Posted by Four Pillars | July 1, 2008, 12:23 pm
  2. I’m sorry sorry to hear about your cousin.

    I recently realized that I wasn’t prepared should anything bad happen to me. I have personal days at work if I have a family emergency, but I didn’t have much insurance to help those I would leave behind if something happens to me. I just got a new policy that will better provide for my family. It makes me feel better to know I won’t financially burden anyone else.

    And I don’t think it’s morbid to prepare and keep an appropriate wardrobe for such things. I do the same thing.

    Posted by Kristen | July 1, 2008, 1:01 pm
  3. I’m sorry too, plonkee, that’s way too young. I hope your family is doing okay.

    I walked away from a (very good) job in the past that wouldn’t allow me time and space when a significantly “bad thing” happened. I couldn’t have gone back and respected my managers. Having personal days accumulated is a good thing, but the old saws of having cash, no debt and being employable should be part of the same toolbox.

    Posted by guinness416 | July 1, 2008, 2:53 pm
  4. I’m very sorry to hear about your cousin. I don’t think it’s morbid to prepare for these things- as you say it’s one less thing to worry about.

    Posted by Looby | July 1, 2008, 2:58 pm
  5. Sorry to hear that– and you are right, the reason to prepare for these things financially is to be able to focus on doing the right thing for your loved ones without having to worry about how much it costs.

    Posted by Madame X | July 1, 2008, 5:40 pm
  6. Praying for you and your family. May all of you find peace.

    Posted by rocketc | July 1, 2008, 7:17 pm
  7. So sorry to hear about your cousin, that is really really awful. I’m thinking of you.

    Some airlines will do reasonable rates for such events so that families can be buried near their loved ones.

    Posted by Frugal Trenches | July 2, 2008, 8:06 pm
  8. That is sad. I’m sorry for the loss of your cousin.

    You’re very wise to have a plan in place to carry you through difficult events like this. It’s not morbid at all to save several vacation or sick-leave days to attend funerals or, worse, to have to make arrangements. In the US, some employers offer bereavement time — as I understand it, mine allows the use of sick days for that purpose.

    And it most certainly is not flippant to have some appropriate clothing on hand. When my former secretary passed, I realized I had nothing to wear to her funeral — the only dark-colored clothes I owned were black jeans! I now keep a nice, conservatively styled dark dress in the closet. It works for business meetings, too, but its secret purpose is to be there if I need it for unforeseen events.

    Posted by Funny about Money | July 3, 2008, 4:59 pm
  9. I’m so sorry about your cousin. It’s definitely not morbid at all, it’s just better not to have to worry about something so seemingly trivial at such a trying time.

    Posted by Revanche | July 4, 2008, 2:47 am
  10. Sorry to hear about your cousin. My prayers are with you and your family.

    Posted by Austin | July 4, 2008, 5:27 am
  11. How awful for you. I’m so sorry to hear that. I agree with the previous comments that it is wise to have days set aside for unexpected events, I’m sure there are many other things that could warrant that sort of preparation. It is the last thing you want to think about when this happens.

    Posted by Kerstin Doe | July 4, 2008, 7:01 am
  12. I’m very sorry to hear about this, plonkee. My thoughts are with you and your family.

    Posted by Patrick | July 4, 2008, 11:10 pm
  13. Aw, I’m so sorry about your loss, Plonkee. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.

    And I’m like you, I think it’s a good idea to be prepared for these terrible circumstances. It’s no different from having insurance.

    Posted by Chief Family Officer | July 5, 2008, 1:29 pm
  14. Very sorry to hear that, plonkee.

    As you say, you never know when this kind of thing will happen or even whom it’ll happen to.

    My coworker called in this morning to say that she couldn’t come in because her partner died last night. Completely out of the blue. You just don’t know.

    Posted by Mrs. Micah | July 5, 2008, 8:40 pm

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