The unfortunate episode of the missing flight MH370 with 239 people onboard has held the world in suspense and disbelief for many days now.
Family members of the passengers and crew are deeply distressed, sad and frustrated with the lack of information, contradicting news and conspiracy theories. Many of them burst into anger and sorrow when news was announced that the plane was reasonably assumed, based on technical data, to have ended its journey in the southern region of the Indian Ocean and that there were no survivors.
A Perth daily carried an apt headline: "An Ocean of Tears".
Expectedly, the victims' families could not and would not accept that assumption when no debris had been found.
As long as the participating governments are still searching for the missing plane, there is still hope, against all odds, that survivors will be found.
Only time will reveal the ultimate outcome of the search operation and heal the pain of the affected families. May God help them in their time of bereavement.
Air travel is safe
While we remember them in our prayers, we should maintain a proper perspective on air travel - it is safe and surprisingly, much safer than travelling on the road.
Every day, thousands of planes fly throughout the world with tens of thousands of crew members serving their passengers - a testament to the safety of air travel.
We should not be frightened by a rare incident to the extent that we dare not fly and forgo the opportunity to see the many wonderful creations of God and man in foreign lands. Travelling or otherwise, it is imperative that we are prepared spiritually, emotionally and financially for untimely demise or serious disability.
I shall dwell on the financial aspect of preparation before going on an overseas trip.
Three important documents
There are three important documents to be drawn up so that loved ones will know what you have and what you want to do with it.
The first document is a will. If you don't have a will, you can write a simple one yourself today or get a will writer or a lawyer to do it for you.
The second is a list of your assets and incomes derived from them and liabilities, with information on where the titles or certificates are kept. For example, there are people who have bought life insurance without the knowledge of their families.
The third is a letter to loved ones telling them how you feel about them and what you wish they will do or become after you are gone.
Few people have written these papers because they don't think they will die, at least not in the near future, or because they are superstitious.
Another mistake made by many travellers is to not buy travel insurance for their overseas trips or buy inadequate travel insurance.
A comprehensive travel insurance policy covers compensation for flight inconveniences such as cancellation, delay, and loss of baggage as well as sickness, accidental disability and death. It also provides for emergency evacuation and repatriation of mortal remains.