I’m not particularly prone to paranoia. Okay, I have to asterisk that already. I can almost imagine my husband’s eyes rolling at that first sentence. I can usually manage my anxiety pretty well. There, that’s true.
But the exceptions are during transitions and when it comes to the unknown, especially when I have no control over the outcome. And for all the good news that my husband’s new job brings, it also brings a particular terror: that benefits don’t start on day one. We’ll get COBRA for him or go through the marketplace to make sure he’s covered. What we can’t do anything about, though, is the fact that he’ll have about 2.5 months until he’s eligible for life insurance again.
This right at the same time that there’s talk about how Covid-19 aka the coronavirus is spreading and could become a pandemic. We discussed it this weekend and my husband said, point blank, that if he gets it, he’ll probably die.
Maybe to him, in dealing with cancer and his own mortality, the thought of dying within a couple of months is completely shrug-worthy. But to me, it’s anything but. First and foremost, I’ve always thought about his death from cancer in terms of years, not possible months. Even the possibility that it could be so soon chokes me with sobs.
Secondly and much less importantly, what happens if he does die in that period in which he has no life insurance? What happens to me and the kids? I’ve got a little over a month’s rent in savings (it was more but we had to dip into it to help the kids with car insurance.) Would my landlord take pity on me and at least give me time to find some other option? We’ve been good tenants paying rent on time for 3.5 years, but I can’t expect him to give me free rent if my husband dies. I don’t think widows get the same breaks single moms do.
I know someone online who lost her husband to a freak accident last summer. She has a fairly large Twitter following and I was one of thousands of people who donated to her after her husband’s sudden death. All told, she raised more than $300,000. And I’m truly glad she did.
At the same time, though, I also know there won’t be a similar fund for me if my husband dies before that life insurance kicks in. I honestly don’t know what I would do or how I would make it.
Now I just have to figure out how to deal with this particular anxiety. I can’t be as blasé about it as my husband is because I have so much to lose in addition to losing him.