As a personal finance writer, I often see in financial cost. I run the numbers on home ownership?and find them wanting. The monetary cost of decisions I make every day are considered.
But what of non-monetary cost? Sometimes I fail to think of the impact on myself and my son. What will the non-monetary impacts be on our lives?
And today, on Memorial Day, it’s appropriate to ask this question: What of the non-monetary cost others pay on my behalf?
We often overlook this cost. Yes, there are financial costs when a loved one dies. But there are other costs. Deeper costs. Emotional costs.
On this Memorial Day, I think about non-monetary cost. The cost of lives can’t be replaced. You can replace income with life insurance, but you can’t replace years not lived, memories not made. That hole might slowly fill to some degree, but for those left behind, it may never be completely healed. Scars remain.
Even more, I think of the non-monetary cost that comes with wounds. The lost arm, the lost leg, the lost sight. The emotional and mental trauma that never completely dissipates. The lived experience of knowing horrors I can never truly comprehend.
We can try to repay the losses with care and housing and education. But there are non-monetary costs that can’t be paid with mere money and material things (although we should try to do our best).
This is the non-monetary cost paid on my behalf. It is a cost I will likely never know, nor have to pay.