It hurt. It didn’t feel right. Did it? It was late at night, my kids were sound asleep and my lovely wife had left for the night shift at work. It was all so quiet. And I didn’t like the pain I had been feeling in my private parts the last few days.
The thoughts were spinning through my head. Could it be…? Was it…? Oh, I knew better than to google “symptons of testicular cancer” when left alone and in pain. I knew better than that – and did it anyway… I didn’t get much sleep that night.
Fearing the worst
I am a highly trained procrastinator. In fact, my first thought was to not call the doctor the next morning, but to wait for a week or so, so my possible illness wouldn’t steal the spotlight from my sons first day at his new school the following monday.
I was focused. Scared, but focused. I wasn’t really scared of the illness – but what scared me most was the thought of leaving my wife and our two children behind. Was my life insurance any good? Would I leave them all the information necessary, so they could figure out our finances? How to operate the water boiler? My last will?
Fear of death kills procrastination
I spent the night running through old papers, insurance policies and letters about my pension.
I had been thinking about getting a larger life insurance. Large enough for my wife to be able to pay off the mortgage immediately and still have some money left. There is nothing like the fear of not being here in a year that can motivate me to act. What had taken me years of consideration (erhm… well… not consideration – procrastination) was completed in a matter of minutes that night. All that was left was to fill out the health information and send to the broker the next morning.
What only Daddy knows
After filling out the life insurance application, I went on to create an ICE document. In Case of Emergency document. I saved it in a secure location my wife could access in a worst case scenario.
But what do you put into an ICE document? Well, here are a few examples from my list…
- Bank information, such as account numbers for all accounts, including a short note on what role the account has in your finances.
- Insurance policies, phone numbers to the insurance company and information on how to make an insurance claim to my life insurance company.
- A single page financial plan on how I figured my wife and kids could carry on without me. I am not naive, and know they won’t be following it for long. But I don’t want them to need to worry about finances in the time of mourning. My wife should be taking care of the kids. Not working out budget sheets in Excel.
- Passwords for online accounts, computer backup services, my laptop and other things from where they would want to fetch personal belongings like photos, documents and SimCity savegames (hey! it’s for my Son, alright?).
Answering questions like these before they need to be asked is vital. Once illness or sudden death occurs, it is too late. That day, as the birds started to sing in the backyard and night went into morning, I felt a sense of peace and contentment which I had not felt in a long time.
I didn’t die after all
I finally went to sleep and woke up the next morning without any fear or any pain. I looked at my notes for the ICE document and smiled. It was a good experience after all. As my kids woke op, I sensed how I looked at them in a different, warmer way and enjoyed their presence more than ever. Beautiful, happy kids. My kids. My wife returning from work. My life. Back to normal.
Oh.. As a postscript, maybe I should note that my pain was caused by a minor infection, and I am not going to die this time. And the health questions for the life insurance? It took me a few days, but finally I got them posted this morning.
How about you? Join the comments below
How about you? How prepared is your family for the worst case scenario? Do you have an ICE document or would you consider creating one? If you do, what did you put into it? Please comment below and join the discussion.