Life insurance agents talk about death as part of their business. But the business of dying — that is something no one talks about.
Specifically, how should a person be present in someone else’s grief? Sure, many agents have a story about being the hero with the benefits check. But is that enough? Especially these days when fewer agents are actually delivering a check. Agents might not even speak with family members who go straight to the insurer with the claim.
Then why would the next generation stick around to do business with that agent? Well, we know they don’t. The children typically move their assets to someone they know.
This is the world of Amy Florian, who had a thorough informal education in grief when she became a widow at age 25. Her husband died in a car accident, leaving her with an infant child. She was, of course, bowled over by the grief of losing her beloved but she also found herself bobbing in the sea of pain and helplessness. Well-meaning people could do little to help her. In fact, many people seemed to make things worse.
Florian struggled back to life for the sake of her baby boy. But she carried the lessons and the question, “Why are people so bad at this?”
She took that question to a formal education, earning a master’s degree and focusing on thanatology, the study of the issues surrounding death. It might sound morose, but in this interview, Florian reveals how the discipline can teach people to be life-giving.
Through her company, Corgenius, Florian educates professionals such as insurance agents and financial advisors on how to master the language of grief. She also wrote the book, A Friend Indeed: Help Those You Love When They Grieve.
What she teaches agents and advisors will help them build business with families. But even more than that, she helps advisors become meaningful during the most difficult times their clients endure.
In this interview with Publisher Paul Feldman, Florian tells how agents can help families grow during times of grief, without ever saying the really cringey things we all know we say to grieving people.