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  • Kristan Higgins

Don’t worry. Be happy.

Updated: May 3, 2022


Worry is the song of my people. We’re Hungarian. And Catholic. That means I'm twice blessed in the worry department. So this week, I took out accidental life insurance. What if my plane goes down? What if I fall into a canal and am run over by a gondola and drown? What if I get hit by a bus in Paris?

I already have life insurance (please, of course, I do!). But now I have accidental life insurance, too. I called my guy at Fidelity, and he immediately remembered me—the romance writer who has written her own eulogy four times and keeps an active list of songs to be played at the wake. (It’s all good stuff—U2 and Dave Matthews and The Boss, don’t worry. You will not hear On Eagle’s Wings.) Anyway, Ken happily sold me more life insurance, just in case.

And then the fun began.

My family is covered. Princess, Dearest, and McIrish will be wealthy in their grief, you know…just in case.


No, this was the fun life insurance, when I can give out money posthumously. Fisher House Foundation. Yale-New Haven Hospital, where both my kids were born. My nieces and nephews and godchildren. My book club—a weekend away, on me, with really good martinis all around. My aunt and uncle who have cooked us dinner so many times—a fabulous vacation. A high school girl who wants to be a writer when she grows up—a scholarship. My plotting friends—another weekend away, on me. May they cry sloppily and laugh more. The girls down the street, who have long played dress-up with my fabulous shoes—my fabulous shoes. My mother-in-law, who is wonderful, and her best friend—a travel fund, so they can have lots of fun on me.

I can’t tell you what a good time I had, typing away, making my list, instructing McIrish to honor my wishes. I became quite bossy, specifying what the money could and could not be used for. How old a person had to be before spending it. What would happen if the heir (yes! Finally, I had heirs!) couldn’t use it.


I pictured the Reading of the Will, to be done in a fabulous library somewhere, read by…oh, I don’t know, I envisioned Morgan Freeman. “And to her godchild, Margaret…” “And in honor of her children, a sum of…” “And so her mother will finally cut down those rhododendrons and reseed that lawn, a gift of…”

Listen. Everyone has to have a hobby.

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