Woman pens her own obituary: “I was born; I blinked; and it was over”
A 69-year-old Florida grandmother knew she didn’t have long to live when she was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in February. So, she decided to write her own obituary–her farewell to the world in her own words. Emily Phillips’ self-penned obituary has gone viral on the Internet since she passed away last week, and according to The Florida Times-Union, it has garnered more than 5,100 likes as of last Tuesday.
In the obituary opening, Phillips wrote, “It pains me to admit it, but apparently, I have passed away. Everyone told me it would happen one day, but that’s simply not something I wanted to hear, much less experience.”
A longtime public school teacher who loved in Orange Park, Florida, Phillips recounts her journey through life, beginning with her elementary years in North Carolina. She talks about here memories of her father calling square dances, her 4-H club skits in fifth grade, being a beauty pageant competitor and leading her high school band down King Street in the New Orleans Mardi Gras parade as a head majorette.
“I was born; I blinked; and it was over”
Shifting between humorous and sentimental, Phillips’ obituary not only reflects on those little moments of her life, but she also tries to answer some of life’s more existential questions.
“The grandmother of five grandchildren, Phillips began writing the obituary soon after she was diagnosed with the terminal illness in February, according to her daughter, Bonnie Upright. “At first,” Upright says, “the family was resistant, but listened when she insisted they hear her read it.”
Uptight added, “We laughed where we were supposed to laugh, cried where we were supposed to cry, and looking back at it now … it really was one of the most special moments in my entire life,” adding that the warm response to the obituary has helped soothe the family’s heartbreak.
“Being able to smile through the tears on my face has been an incredible experience, and an incredible gift that mom left us,” she said.
Phillips penned the following as she wrapped up her self-written obit: