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A Very Somber Holiday Weekend

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I received some heartbreaking news on Friday. Someone I used to work with was in a horrible accident and she didn’t make it. The news of her passing took my breath away.

As a result, Friday ended up being a day in a complete blur. Between the extreme sadness that someone who brought so much joy to my life was now gone and the realization of how any minute your life change change like that, many tears were shed.

When I think of her, all I can think of is her laughing and lifting her head up and placing her hand on her stomach. Such a joy filled person who spread the joy to everyone around her.

This is not right. It HAS to be a joke. She can’t be gone. WAKE ME UP!!

I know it’s true, but part of me still doesn’t want to believe it. She was so full of life and so full of kindness. A horrible loss for her family and the community alike. She will be greatly missed.

Losing someone like that so suddenly, I really started to question things. Why the heck am I here worrying about debt? Why the heck do I care about saving money or retirement? Who knows if you will make it to retirement?

Part of me was thinking about racking up some more credit card debt and living life for the moment. Just go out and blow some money that we don’t have. Live life!

Then another part of me was thinking about selling every darn thing I own to pay off our debts as quickly as possible so we can spend a lot of money that we have to enjoy life.

Because we were already planning to have a garage sale on Saturday, I believe that helped me go with the latter thought. I started pulling even more things out to sell and we ended up making another $200. I’m not done yet, either. I have more to sell. In fact, there’s someone I know who really wants to buy our original Nintendo and games. I wasn’t going to sell it (who knows when I’ll feel like playing Mario Brothers, right?), but I think I’m going to give him a price. I haven’t played it in over 6 months anyway. Sell it and put the money towards our debt. Make our debt go bye-bye.

When it’s all said and done, you can’t take your possessions with you. They mean relatively little when you look at life as a whole. I almost wonder if I should write that as a little reminder to place in my wallet. That way I’ll always see it before I purchase something.

I probably won’t be writing the next few days. I need some time to collect my thoughts. Life sure is a roller coaster ride.


30 Comments

  • Reply Rob in Madrid |

    I can totally understand. My Mom just passed away August 1st. While was expected it was still a shock. The worse part is the depression that seems to envelope you, took me several days to understand why I felt so down.

    My prayers are with you

  • Reply Cheryl |

    I am sorry to hear about your friend…remember the good times and lean on your family to get you through this difficult time.

  • Reply Chief Family Officer |

    I’m so sorry about your friend, and very glad that you have chosen to stay the course. Thanks again for taking time to respond to my email – especially during what’s been such a difficult weekend for you.

  • Reply nancy |

    Trisha, I am SO very sorry, what a shock and a blur of life is right. I also am very sorry for the poster (Rob)who lost his mom at the top as well.
    God Bless you both.

  • Reply Kristina |

    I’m sorry to hear about your loss. It’s almost impossible to imagine that people are gone when they pass away at too young an age.

    On the financial side, I agree with your take-a-way from this that it’s worth the sacrifice to let go of possessions and to therefore be out of debt faster. I will never quite understand the other option you listed (“live in the moment” and forget debt) that I’m sure many people choose. When people talk about living that lifestyle, they act like it’s all fun times and less stress. However, that isn’t reality. The people I know who are in debt (even those who are not trying to pay it off or who are still in denial) are not living life to its fullest and are not truly happy. Instead, they are always living with the subtle (or overt) stress of lurking debt, potential debt collectors, and the self-esteem damage that comes from knowing they are living out of control and irresponsibly. Real “living in the moment” happens out of financial freedom/wealth, not debt. Also, the “living in the moment” cliche is so ridiculous in the financial context — first, we have our children to think about and their financial future even if we sometimes want to be immature in the moment; second, statistically most of us are going to live until retirement, so it’s not logical or happiness inducing to spend money as if we might die tomorrow.

  • Reply bluntmoney |

    I’m very sorry to hear about your co-worker. Life really is precious. Maybe try to look at it as a reminder to make a point to enjoy the people in your life every day.

  • Reply BeckyinColorado |

    Those moments are a wake up call to both enjoy what time we have here on earth, but to be mindful of materialism. I had credit card debt from the age of 22 to the age of 42 (now). The most debt I had was about 10,000. Now…Oct. will be my last credit debt paid off. I have never felt so free. Apart from my mortgage, I owe nothing to anyone. I wish I would have never started using credit cards. Anything that those cards may have bought will never compare to the feeling of an empty mailbox, and no bills to budget. If you’re young…don’t ever start the habbit (just like smoking!).

  • Reply AKB |

    I am so sorry to hear about your friend. I have had many losses (4) in the past year so I totally understand. It makes no sense but it is life and we have to move on after our grieving. Take your time and let your tears flow. It’ll make you feel better in the end.

    XOXOXO
    AKB

  • Reply Maxx05 |

    I am so sorry to hear that. I hope you’re getting support around you. It’s never easy to lose someone you care about. Try to take care of yourself, and just get some quiet time where you don’t feel under pressure to have to do things. Take care.

  • Reply Ed |

    Sorry to hear about the loss.

    I have to admit that the thought of “why am I saving for retirement, I might/will die before I can use it” creeps up quite a bit. But I still plug away, maybe I should split what I am putting in retirement and spend freely 😉

    But then again, I would like to retire early, travel, etc. Maybe I will keep saving :-/

  • Reply FrugalBabe |

    I’m so sorry about your friend. Losing someone does tend to put life into perspective – it makes us realize that a lot of the stuff we worry about isn’t really that important. But at the same time, we have to keep living life as best we can, and hope and plan for it to be a long, good life. Getting out of debt is a worthy goal no matter what – as long as we keep it in perspective and don’t let it become all-consuming (I admit to being guilty of this a time or two when we were deeply in debt).
    I hope that you have family and friends around you right now, helping you through the sadness of losing your friend.

  • Reply Matt |

    My condolences, loosing people always sucks. Good thing you fought the urge to splurge, you might have regretted it afterwards. Remember your friend for what they meant to you.

  • Reply Jim ~ mydebtblog.com |

    Sorry about your friend. Financial matters may seem petty but you still have to do something about it and have those plans in place in case something does happen. There is nothing wrong with being able to plan for the worst and hope for the best.

  • Reply Mrs. Micah |

    *hugs* Take some time to get through this. We’ll miss your posts but you have something more important to deal with.

    A dear friend of mine died in a car crash last summer and I still can’t reconcile myself, though I believe it. She and I were supposed to get married this summer to some great guys, her fiance was very much like mine (depressive). He barely made it. I kept asking why it happened. Sometimes it makes no sense. But we pick ourselves up, eventually, and we live. And we love them in our memories.

    Everything seems petty next to death, and pointless. But our life is made up of little days, and if your days are made happier by the knowledge that you’re lowering your debt, then by all means go for it.

    -MM

  • Reply Kathryn |

    Tricia, I’m catching up on email and read of your loss. “I’m sorry” doesn’t cover it. I hope you are holding okay. Remember, be kind to you. You don’t have to conquer everything today (or even tomorrow).

    I understand wondering what the point of saving and getting out of debt are when death creeps into our lives. One thing that comes to mind is that, with financial stability (no debt and emergency savings set aside) you are then able to fully give attention to the moment.

    For instance, say (heaven forbid!) there is a medical crisis within your family. Being able to focus on your loved one and his/her needs rather feeling the additional stress of a financial crisis can be priceless.

    No one can guarantee us tomorrow. We can, however, work towards gifting ourselves more peace of mind by getting our financial lives in order.

    Take care. Thank you for sharing your loss and giving us, your reading public, a chance to let you know you are not alone in your time of grief.

    Kathryn

  • Reply jj in Balt |

    I grieve with you!

    I am glad you have such wonderful memories – remember her as she would want to be remembered!

    these types of expereinces can be very hard on the body, guard your health and you heal your heart. Time will make it easier – I promise!

  • Reply mapgirl |

    Hi Tricia,
    I am just catching up now. I am so sorry for the loss of your friend. Unexpected deaths are very hard on the psyche. I’m not very eloquent either, so just know that I am thinking of you and your friend.

    Did you end up selling the Nintendo? I have a Sony PSP I should probably sell. I bought it b/c I was flying across the US so much that I needed a time waster. These days it’s just a pretty paperweight.

  • Reply Tricia |

    mapgirl – I still have the Nintendo. I wrote down all of the games we have. I’m waiting to hear from the person who wanted it to find out what games they want with it. Then I can come up with a price.

  • Reply Jen |

    I’m so sorry for your loss. I cannot imagine the shock you feel.

    While I can understand the “live for today” idea, I think that living our lives to the fullest also means laying a solid foundation for our future and our family’s future.

So, what do you think ?