Life can be tragic. Indeed, it is inevitably so. That is one of the fundamental reasons for why the life and health industry exists at all: to be there for us when those inevitable tragedies strike, and especially when they strike at a time when we least expect them. This is especially true for those of us who lose our children. There can be no crueler tragedy than that, for it inverts the natural order. We were meant to be buried by our children, not the other way around. And yet, all too often, it happens. And when it does, those who endure such heartbreak deserve even more outreach from their family, their friends, their neighbors, their colleagues…even from total strangers.
James Jackson (“JJ”) Birnbaum lost his life on April 15 when his car veered off the road while driving back home to Austin, Texas. Like anyone at such a young age, his was a life full of promise. He loved music and was himself an accomplished musician. He wrote freelance for Yahoo. He meant the world to his three-year-old niece. He made his parents proud. And now, he is gone.
None of us know JJ, but some of you might know his father Birny, the executive director for the Center for Economic Justice. He is a respected, knowledgable and outspoken consumer advocate who is a fixture at NAIC meetings and who has been a source for more than a few news stories published by National Underwriter Life & Health and LifeHealthPro. (Including one of our recent features on Glenn Neasham.)