File cabinet for blog by DC widow writer Marjorie Brimley
Missing Shawn

A New Life Insurance Plan! (An Annotated Reading of the Latest Letter to Our House)

Dear Shawn,

As I understand it, you have a birthday coming up soon….Happy Birthday!

Well, yes, technically Shawn’s birthday is in June. He’d be 44, which seems really old, even though I am 42! But he’s frozen at 40, of course. Not LITERALLY frozen, because the ground has thawed out at this point in the year. But I digress. Back to that letter.

This might be a great time to buy a new life insurance policy.

Really? Tell me MORE. Have you been hearing about changes in Shawn’s life lately? DO TELL.

Here’s why: Life insurance rates have just dropped to all-time lows and many companies will charge more for this same amount of coverage after your birthday.

Well, damn, it’s time to buy into that policy now! I mean, RUN DON’T WALK, Shawn Brimley!

Here is the sample male monthly rate for age 40…..

Wait – is Shawn 40? I’m actually curious. Are they calculating this for his age when he was last breathing, or for the age he’d be if he lived? I mean, this is GETTING INTERESTING.

As you might expect, these sample rates assume that you don’t use tobacco…..

Score! Shawn didn’t use tobacco! I mean, maybe a cigarette or two in college but not really, and anyway, he DEFINITELY hasn’t smoked a single cigarette in years.

….and that you are enjoying excellent health.

ummmmm…….and also, FOR FUCK’S SAKE, WHY DO I STILL GET THESE LETTERS? They come all the time in the mail, and as if it’s not bad enough that Shawn gets letters from the DNC and his grad school and the cell phone company, can’t I at least ask not to get these life insurance letters? I know they try to be reassuring but they always scream to me, “He’s dead. He’s dead. He’s DEAD!”

We also offer plans that provide coverage for life!

That’s not exactly helpful at this point. Also, can we stop with uplifting insurance letters? Life insurance plans mean that YOU DIE. I’d think the letter should include something like, “your family will be kinda fucked without you, won’t they? Imagine the grief and then the financial worries. Picture their crushed expressions and their wailing sobs!” No, the letters never say this, but maybe they should!

We also have many no-exam plans and some that ask no health questions.

Now you’re talking! And yes, since making that exam appointment might be a tad difficult at this point, we’d need to go with this exam-free option.

If you’d like a free price comparison report customized to your own health history, please call us.

So, exactly what qualifies as “health history”? I’ve seen those forms – they ask about family history and current medications and such. I’m PRETTY sure there’s no box that says “currently breathing” so that definitely works in Shawn’s favor.

We offer life insurance quotes for up to $25 million.

DAMN! For 25 million, I bet Shawn would do his fucking BEST to try and make that call. I bet, somewhere out there in heaven or whatever comes after, he’s hitting re-dial as much as he can. Or at least he’s laughing along with me at the absurdity of all of this. Life insurance rates at all-time lows, as he’s not even alive to cash in!

Sincerely, your future insurance company


  • Melissa

    Ugh. I’m sorry you had to receive this. I get stuff like this (although not as upsetting as this one) all the time. It’s always kind of a shock to see my husband’s name and the words “We miss you and want you back!” on something related to a group or organization he used to belong to. Yeah, I miss him too and want him back! But it’s not gonna happen. For them or for me.

    • M Brimley

      These kind of letters were HORRIBLE to get the first year – I think my dad just threw many of them out before I could see them. But now I’m like “SERIOUSLY??” It absurd. And yes, it can be upsetting, but I also have to take it in stride – I’m sure Shawn would think it was pretty funny!

      • Melissa

        I know my husband would have thought the ads he still gets touting cremation services funny also. You know, “been there, done that!” 🙂

  • Julie

    It is amazing to me how strong you are. There seems to be a trigger every time you turn around. You have persevered, let me rephrase that…you have THRIVED under one of the worst circumstances that a person could encounter. This type of thing, you should NOT have to deal with but I’m sure you are exhausted from “unsubscribing” from these types of mailing lists. I love that you are laughing, and that you said Shawn would be laughing. It’s so terribly sad what happened to him, but I love that his sense of humor endures in your heart. Love to you Marjorie, Chris and family, as always ❤

  • Kellie Brady

    I didn’t get an insurance letter, but I did get a letter over the weekend addressed to my husband at my address. He wasn’t alive (he will be gone from our lives for 14 years this August) when I purchased the house I am currently living in over 11 years ago – his name is not on one single document connected with my address. So how did that happen??? I am able to buy my own house, but somehow they send a letter to someone that used to be connected to me – and to him only?? There is so much wrong with this (eyes are rolling….)

    All we can do is shake our heads and laugh – right?

    • M Brimley

      I mean….it’s just CRAZY. My dad still gets mail for my mom who died over two decades ago!

  • Kellie Brady

    And now that I think about it – it was from an insurance company! Allstate Insurance to be exact.