Life insurance offers peace for a dying member and his family
Estel Forsyth was a quiet man.
But on June 24, 2008 – on his death bed – the Modern Woodmen member spoke up. His last few words left a great impression on his daughter, Connie Hurst, and her family.
The wife of a longtime Modern Woodmen regional director, Connie’s seen how life insurance can impact lives. It wasn’t until that moment, however, that she saw how life insurance impacts death.
In her own words, Connie shares her father’s final life lesson.
An unending love
Connie Hurst, Little Rock, Ark.
Dad was born on Aug. 24, 1920, in rural west Tennessee.
As a young man working with the Civilian Conservation Corps, Dad met a cute, young woman named Ruth Phillips. My 6-foot-1-inch father towered over her 5-foot frame.
On his death bed, Dad told a story about walking her home one night.
“I looked down, and she looked up,” he remembered. “And I said, ‘Will you be my sweetheart?’”
On the last night of Dad’s life, right before they wheeled my mom out of the hospital room, he asked her again, “Will you be my sweetheart?”
It was the tenderest moment I have ever witnessed. Their “until death do us part” lasted almost 68 years. They both knew it would be their last goodbye.
Taking care of her until the end
Dad’s last piece of earthly business was with my husband, Albert.
“Albert?” Dad struggled to make the name come out. He opened his eyes to a squint and managed to whisper, “Mom.”
“Yes, Pop. We’re going to take care of Mom. She’s going to be all right.”
Struggling for breath, he managed to say, “Insurance.”
“Yes, Pop,” said Albert. “It’s all there, just like we talked about. You trust me. Don’t you, Pop?”
He opened his eyes wide, shook his head yes and said, “OK, I trust you.” Then he smiled, and his body melted into relaxation once more.
The look of peace on his face was such a gift. Those last words and Albert’s reply gave him permission to go on to eternity. He knew his sweetheart of 68 years would be taken care of. With that, he slipped back into a coma.
One last lesson
I’ve always said life insurance is a gift for the living. It’s a deep expression of the most unselfish kind of love.
That love says, “Though I won’t be here to walk with you, you’ll be able to continue your walk through life. And you can do it in the same home and the same manner as while I was here.”
It’s a gift that says, “I love you” every day.
And that gift it is. But on that day, I learned something else about life insurance.
We all pray for our loved ones to have peace as they leave this world to travel to the next. My dad had peace about where he was going. He was ready for that journey. But he couldn’t leave this earth until he was reassured that this – his last piece of earthly business – was seen after. When he was fully satisfied that it was, only then could he go in peace.
Life insurance is life for the living. Now I realize, it’s also peace for the dying.