Karen Flavelle | President and Owner of Ross Flavelle Insurance
In times of great uncertainty, we are put in a place of choice. We can face what is before us with fear or we can face that same circumstance with courage and certainty. These are interesting times the world is in and each person is managing these strange times in their own way. Most people will pass through unscathed and for this, we can be grateful. The ones who have been touched, are changed in deep and profound ways. My dear friend Teri lost her husband Sean to COVID as the second death in our region on March 18. He was 51, a talented musician, a much-loved father, and a cherished husband. It is now six months later. What does each day bring for my friend? What happens the next day and every day after this kind of loss? Every day I try to remember to send my friend a message reminding her how beautiful she is, as I know when my own Mom became a widow at 65, there is a gaping hole where loving words of affirmation once filled her heart every day. These two wonderful women are courageous and full of grace. How would you face this change in your life? Are you ready if life comes at you?
These times are not just about this kind of deep loss, but many are facing events they never dreamed would occur, and certainly not all at once. Who could have predicted that mass closures would leave many out of work, businesses strapped financially, executives and front line workers alike facing steep financial and personal challenges? Sometimes when life comes at us full speed, we are unprepared. What can we do to make sure that does not happen? Or if it does, that we say, “Ready!”
I faced my own profound health crisis just over two years ago. Out of the clear blue. I am just like you, busy, active, juggling family and work, finding joy and love in my everyday life. Probably not prioritizing self-care but managing to juggle quite well. I found myself in a position of extreme gratitude for the planning I was taught to do by two of my most cherished mentors: my dad Ross and my business mentor Bob Castiglione. See, when life came at me, I had to look at my plans and determine if I was ready or not. Right then. No time to prep. No time to plan. No time to redo the documents or see if I had enough. In a 12-hour period, I went from fully functioning to depending on every one of my planning pieces and many of my loved ones and friends to do what needed to be done. I had to call on my Power of Attorney for Personal Care and for Finance. I had to think through: Is my will set up to look after my husband and boys the way I want them to be taken care of? I had to see how far my disability insurance would take me as I was off work for months and part-time quite some time after. I had to see if my Critical Illness insurance would be there for me if what they diagnosed was verified. I had to count on my husband’s amazing group benefits carefully selected at option time. You see, when Life comes at you full speed, you want to have a clear idea of what you have in place and know that you can count on it.
I specialize in working with families and have enjoyed a business life filled with insuring and protecting many health professionals. Doctors in one of my client's hospital workplaces have been openly counseled to get their wills and powers of attorney completed. One of the most meaningful messages I received was from a client who was ready, who had been through our process together. When COVID started closing everything down she sent me a text to say, "Karen, I have never been more grateful than I am today for all the planning you helped us implement."
Planning well ahead of life coming at you makes everything easier. What are the trickle-down effects of your current plans? Not sure? Maybe it is time to run through each circumstance and see if you like the result. No better time than the present!
So, when life comes at you and says, “Ready or not, here I come!”, are you ready? When the answer is “Ready!”, somehow you can manage to face with certainty whatever life throws at you.