Lessons Learned

I never realized the tremendous amount of paperwork that needs to be done upon someones death. Funerals to plan, hospital bills to pay, insurance papers to be filled out and mailed, vehicle titles to be changed, phone accounts and bank accounts to be closed – all reminders that you are forever ending the evidences of someones life on earth. Each process hurts. And when one has a house fire and loses everything it means re-identifying yourself with replaced drivers license, birth certificates, marriage license, credit and debit cards, passport, and basically beginning over. I have learned to keep a pad on the table to write things down as I discover that I no longer have that item: tooth brush, nail clipper, pliers, bill fold, eye glasses, salt & pepper, can opener, boot polish, ad infinitum. It finally dawned on me that this is going to take awhile. Living out of boxes reminds me of college days.

So why am I telling you this? To help you be prepared. I highly recommend taking pictures of your house – each room, scanning to show what is in each. This report must be filed with your insurance company in order to claim replacement costs for the contents of your home. You’ve heard it said that a picture is worth a thousand words? It can be worth thousands of dollars. Tally up the cost of your toaster, coffee maker, bread making machine, blender, kitchen utensils, and you’ll see what I mean. The insurance company will want it all listed in order to collect. And don’t forget to store copies of those pictures somewhere other than your house! Ask me how I know. Plenty of pictures we had – in the house.

While most of you may never experience a house fire, I can assure you that you will experience a death. It happens to all of us. By keeping duplicate records in another location you can be assured you have your ducks in a row so that, when your emotions run amuck during times like these, you have the basics required to get the job done. And have someone to lean on, someone you trust. They can make all the difference in the world. And most importantly, have a living relationship with God. You can’t download what you need when it hits the fan. That relationship is something you either have or you don’t going into something like this. You either know God and have His peace now, or you are facing a mighty bleak future where religious platitudes won’t help.