You may or may not have noticed (probably the latter) that I was not around on this little ol’ blog of mine last week. Sadly, my grandpa passed away last Sunday morning. Having not been through the death of anyone close to me (I know, I’ve been incredibly fortunate), I wasn’t sure how to react. I was sure, however, that I needed to go back to Ohio for the funeral.
Turns out, there isn’t really a right or wrong reaction to death. No way is more correct than another. My particular brand of grieving happened to entail both tears and attempted distraction.
As you can imagine, last minute flights are not cheap. Even with a bereavement discount, flying across the country unplanned can be a huge strain to the budget for someone in debt. And I’m here to tell you something, it doesn’t matter.
In the personal finance blogosphere, people seem to have this idea that money trumps everything. That somehow, the almighty green is a priority. While it is true that money is important for food, shelter, and fun, it absolutely pales in comparison to the importance of personal relationships — including family, significant others, and friends. No amount of money could have kept me from flying back to Ohio this past week. Money will come again, but these moments will not.
So yes, if I would have needed to, I would have gone further in debt to go back home. I would have doubled the cost of my plane ticket to hug my grieving family members. I would have taken a $10,000 loan to watch my grandmother kneel down in front of her husband of 55 years’ casket. And I would have doubled my debt to hear my own dad tell his dad goodbye.
Please stop putting money in your life’s top 5. It’s number 6 for sure, but it should never trump your loved ones. If it does, you have some reevaluating to do so you don’t have any regrets.
My grandpa was a great man. He was and is well-loved and he has left behind an incredible family of strong individuals who were able to get through this past week together. In case I don’t express it enough, I am so grateful to have so many incredible people in my life. I feel very fortunate and now more than ever I am reminded to not take it for granted. I hope you do the same.
I will not be around this week either, as I head to St. Louis Wednesday. I look forward to sharing my FinCon experiences with you when I return!