I believe it’s hardest to lose someone you love when it happens unexpectedly. Either way it’s devastating, but if you have time to say your goodbyes you at least know, after they’re gone, that things were made right before they passed.
But having someone simply go to work one day, and never return, is infinitely worse. It leaves a pit of emptiness that fills slowly with regret. Inside that gaping hole you have questions like,
Did they know I loved them?
Did they truly love me?
These irrational thoughts echo around in one’s head, like a painful unfinished sentence in the poem of life. And the cause is not the loss in this case, but rather the inability to say goodbye.
Protecting against the unexpected
Life insurance is about money. When providers leave this world their ability to generate income leaves with them. When someone you love leaves this world unexpectedly, you should have a defense against that as well. To that end, I am proposing, and implementing myself, the concept of Emotional Insurance.
Emotional Insurance is simple. It’s a series of recordings—either audio or video—that say the things that the remaining party will need to hear. Here are the primary communications that should be covered:
1. Removing the trauma of the event
Hey, it’s me, Christopher. I just wanted to remind you that things happen and that there’s no reason to be troubled by the way I went. If it was a car crash, well, we knew those things were dangerous.
If it was a plane crash, at least I wasn’t bored at the end like most flights. And if it was something random then that’s just me trying to be different.
Either way, don’t stress it. And if you heard that I suffered on the way out, just know that whatever happened, or however much it sucked, I am happy to have given that as payment for knowing you for even five minutes. Don’t read into it. People suffer much more every day, and I had but a taste. And it was worth it to be able to live the life we had together.
2. This is how much I love you
Hi, it’s Sarah. I know that it’s common for those left behind to wonder if, and how much, the one who passed cared for you. Well, let’s be clear about that. I loved you like…
3. Don’t worry about me
This is Michael reminding you that I am doing just fine. I live forever in the feelings of happiness and laughter and joy and tears that come in remembering our time together. And in that sense, I’ve achieved immortality (always a goal of mine anyway).
[ NOTE: Change for your philosophical beliefs, e.g., talk about heaven, etc. ]
4. What to do when you miss me
Hi there. It’s Darren. It looks like you’re missing me again, which is understandable given how great I was. I’m reminded of one of many Star Trek episodes where the timeline fragmented into multiple forms. Perhaps in another we have become immortal energy beings and we’re frolicking in a pond somewhere right now.
Or maybe great things are supposed to end, and that’s what makes them so great. Either way, to whatever extent that I can, I’m thinking of you as well, and…
[ NOTE: All of these recordings should include your natural personality, so that they hear your humor or your seriousness, or whatever it is that identifies you to them. If they ever have to use these, you want them to feel your presence when they listen/watch. ]
I’ll continue to add to these as I think of the main cases, but I think there are few things more important in life than preparing these for the ones you love.
For me it’s mostly my love, but I’ll also make one for my parents and friends as well I imagine. And for parents it’s even more crucial. I think it’d be wonderful for children to grow up being able to hear a voice from their loving parent when needed.
So that’s the idea. I hope you take it seriously and set out to create these as soon as you can. And if you are tempted to avoid it because it’ll make you sad, just think of how said they would be to lose you suddenly and not have them.
Whether it takes you 20 minutes or a full day, the time and effort is worth it.
You’ll want to record them digitally and store/send them in some sort of cloud service so an accident cannot result in their loss.