One of the first life insurance sales
I lost was due to “tragic client error.” I was selling policies to two business owners to fund a buy-sell agreement. One of them was older and had a history of serious heart disease. He actually was not in the best shape, but he was eligible for coverage, albeit at at a high price.
I was anxious to take an app because with cases like this, one never knows what will happen. He did appreciate the need to get this done, but put me off when I pressed him on a Friday to submit the paperwork. “Don’t worry, Steve, we’ll do this,” he said. “Just come back Monday, and I’ll sign your application
.” I had no choice but to wait.
That weekend it snowed heavily. When I finally got into my office Monday after all the snow delays, the first thing I did was call his firm. His partner picked up the phone and told me the news nobody wanted to hear. “The damn fool went out and shoveled his driveway!” she cried bitterly. “He just had to show the world he could do it. His doctor had told him to never even think about doing something that. His wife pleaded with him not to do it. He himself knew the next heart attack was just around the corner. But he had to go ahead anyway...” He ended up in intensive care, and died shortly thereafter.
I remember feeling really bad about the whole situation. In particular, his partner’s moral indignation really struck me. They had been in business together for a long time and had become good friends. They cared for each other deeply. She, of course, was filled with a whirlpool of conflicting emotions. She had so much now to think about, with her business and her personal life; yet, one of her most intense feelings was, “What a waste!” He could have faced the reality of his sickness and taken proper precautions. That very well could have given him a number of productive and enjoyable years. Instead, he had to pretend he wasn’t sick and throw caution to the wind. That was no reason to die.
It is so sad when somebody’s spirit reaches rock-bottom. They put on a good show that everything is fine and even try to prove it by defying death. Bad heart? Poor condition? No problem! I can take on the world! But you know that inside they have lost hope and are just trying to buy time. Then along comes an insurance guy to remind them it’ll happen eventually, and they just can’t face it
. Might as well go out with a bang.
We all have our battles with mortality. In our saner moments we would acknowledge that pushing death would be wrong. We are here to preserve life, to care for it, to make the most of it. No reason to die now: Let nature take its course.
But it is not always the desperate souls who tempt fate. For some of us — the lucky ones — our reason to live becomes our reason to die. We hold life — our life, our way of life — to be so precious, we will do anything to protect it. Even put our own lives on the line.
This Memorial Day, I am reminded that, for me, there is no better reason to die than to defend one's nation. All across the globe, our brave soldiers have every reason to live and a noble reason to die.