Tag Archives: death child loss

Loving & Losing

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Take Time

This is so very true. As a mom I put a whole ton of pressure on myself to do ‘all the things.’ All the time. It’s exhausting.

My brain is constantly swirling with my to do’s for work, for home, for my kids and sometimes even myself. I often joke that my brain looks like an internet browser with 30+ tabs open. Because, well, life. And that is a lot. All of the time.

Sometimes when you’re running like that all of the time you forget that you can stop. The Earth will not stop spinning and fall off its axis. Your to do list will still be there tomorrow.

When Benny died, the world paused for me. Those to do’s suddenly disappeared. Everything just stopped, it was almost as if time stood still. All of a sudden I wasn’t running, hell I was barely crawling.

Me, who always had a plan always knew the next step, had nothing in my sights. I was injured so I figured I’d be home for a few weeks from work. Well, a few weeks turned into a few months and then a year, and then a decision to leave my career. I walked away from a job I loved with people I adored. And it took me a year to come to that conclusion.

I didn’t drive for about four months after the accident. I couldn’t handle the responsibility of being in control of a motor vehicle, even though we were hit outside of my car. It all seemed like too much. It took me about 18 months before I would drive longer than a half hour. I still won’t go longer than an hour or two by myself in the car. And I used to sit in my car from 3-5 hours a day at my old job.

What’s my point? Be kind to yourself. Grief takes time, so take time for grief. You do not have to figure it all out today. One of the best pieces of advice we were given was to not make any big decisions / life changes during that first year. It may not work for all but it worked for us. It gave me a chance to get my footing back and decide what was next for us so that we could start walking towards what the future held.

ACA

Trust me, it was never my intention to write about healthcare on a blog dedicated to grief.  I feel the need to share our story though so people understand exactly what this repeal could affect.

After my son passed, I was physically and mentally not able to return to work.  I was out on short-term Disability that I had paid into with my company as a benefit.  Coverage began in November and lasted 3 months.  While on that, I maintained my insurance, but had to pay what would normally have come out of my paycheck, roughly $400 or so a month.

When I was switched over to long-term disability in February, again a benefit that I paid for, my insurance coverage was gone.  I was receiving 60% of my salary and had to pay 100% of my healthcare.  When all was said and done, I had roughly $300-$400 left over monthly to pay for a mortgage and bills.  This was completely unrealistic.  We were so lucky that people had raised money for our family (including the Greg Hill Foundation).

My husband owns his own business and was struggling with the loss of our son as well.  He went back to work, but he wasn’t the bread-winner in our family and his business was still in its infancy.  As newly grieving parents, we were doing the best that we could with a horrible situation.

We had applied for coverage through the ACA and we were finally accepted in June.  This was a huge weight off our shoulders as we could now actually use the disability money to help pay bills and our mortgage.  I’m not sure how you’re supposed to cover all of that plus the cost of insurance on 60% salary.  It’s just not possible.  Especially in a time of emergency.

This whole experience opened my eyes to how quickly it can all be gone, all of that security that we have in our lives.  By November, my LTD refused to cover me anymore because they felt that I should be farther along in my recovery of my son’s death.  Suddenly we were left to seriously sink or swim.  I wasn’t ready to go back to work, so we had to make my husband’s business lucrative.

It’s been 2 years.  We have worked our butts off to turn his business into something that could support our family.  The only support system that we have left in place is out healthcare coverage.  Even though we are making money, we still fall within the income guidelines to be eligible for help.  In a year or two from now, I hope that isn’t the case and it’s something that we will be able to afford on our own.  We’re just not there yet.

In a million years, I never thought that our family would need help.  I had a great job with benefits.  My husband’s business was doing ok.  Things were looking up.  I’m here to tell you that it can all change in the blink of an eye.  And those benefits that you receive through work probably won’t cover half of what you need financially.

I’m terrified at the thought of losing our health insurance again.  We have 2 little kids and we are doing the best that we can to make life better for them in the wake of their brother’s death.  We have come so far and worked so hard to get where we are today.  I hate to see things begin to go backwards now.

Below are the phone numbers of the members of the GOP that are wanting to put the brakes on the repeal.  Please call, email and please share.  We need to help them to understand how this personally affects every one of us.

(A  lot of these numbers were busy when I called, you might be better off emailing.  That way, there’s a papertrail as well).

 

Thanks.