This Dying Woman Wrote Her Own Obituary – And It Shares Some Frank Advice Everyone Needs To Hear

In the fall of 2012, mom-of-two Sonia Todd was, sadly, nearing the end of her life. Following a cancer diagnosis, her condition continued to worsen until she succumbed to the disease on October 14 that year. But prior to Todd’s untimely death at just 38, she shared some powerful messages in her self-written obituary.

Todd lived in Moscow, Idaho, alongside her husband Brian, with the couple having two children. They went on to name their sons Jason and James, building a strong family unit together. And in addition to that, the mother was also quite religious, ahead of a devastating spell in her life.

During that period, Todd was informed that she had terminal cancer. Given how scary that news is, it’s difficult to judge how someone would react, knowing that their time is coming to an unfortunate end. In this instance, though, the Moscow resident had a clear idea of what she wanted to do before then.

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For you see, Todd decided to go down a rather unique path prior to her passing in October 2012. Instead of relying on someone else to write her obituary, she penned it herself. However, while the final message was full of humor and self-reflection, it outlined a few important lessons to its readers as well.

For a lot of people across the world, death remains a highly sensitive subject. At various points in our respective lives we will experience heartbreaking losses, from friends to beloved family members. In the end, dying is something that we’ll all face, but not everyone responds to it in the same way.

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Indeed, there are many individuals who could be frightened by the prospect of death and leaving their loved ones behind. On the flip side, though, there are others out there who are far more accepting of their fate. And in some of those cases, the people in question are able to go out on their own terms.

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For example, before someone passes away they might want to write their obituary themselves, as opposed to leaving it for family members. By doing that, the person can share some final thoughts about life from their point of view. But that’s not all, as we’re about to discover.

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While self-written obituaries are often very open and honest, there are quite a few that have instead embraced a comedic tone. In fact, some of those messages have gone on to make a notable impact online in recent times. One such obituary was written by a woman named Emily DeBrayda Phillips, from Florida, who sadly succumbed to pancreatic cancer.

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Phillips’ message read, “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. Once again I didn’t get things my way!” And the Floridian’s obituary didn’t conclude there, as she made one last point.

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“I’ll leave you with this,” Phillips added in her humorous message. “Please don’t cry because I’m gone. Instead be happy that I was here. Or maybe you can cry a little bit. After all, I have passed away. Today I am happy and I am dancing. Probably naked. Love you forever.”

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Meanwhile, another lady named Kay Ann Heggestad wrote a similar obituary following some bad news. For you see, she was informed that she had cancer of the bone marrow, which eventually led the Wisconsin resident to compile her own eulogy. It took a bit of work, but Heggestad was pleased with the final results.

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To begin with, Heggestad wrote, “Kay Ann Heggestad, age 72, bought the farm, is no more, has ceased to be, left this world, is bereft of life, gave up the ghost, kicked the bucket, murió, c’est fini.” Off the back of that introduction, she then focused on the important people in her life. And that meant those who stood by her during the tough times.

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No one should say [Kay Ann Heggestad] fought a courageous battle, because she did not!” Heggestad admitted. “Unlike most folks, she complained all the way. What a whiner! She was ready to quit treatment many times, but her family pushed her to continue. Which was good since she then had time to have parties and say goodbye to friends and relatives.”

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Elsewhere, someone else shared their self-penned obituary with a newspaper in Canada’s Nova Scotia. The individual’s name was Angus B. MacDonald, and his words were structured in a similar way to Heggestad’s. However, compared to the previous eulogies, this one ended on a hopeful note, especially when MacDonald brought up his late dog, Scarlett.

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MacDonald’s obituary read, “I bought the farm. I bit the dust. So I guess I’m off to the promised land, eh? The promised land! Imagine! So anyway, I think I was a pretty nice guy, despite being a former punk and despite what some people would say about me. What did they know about me anyway?”

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To conclude the message, MacDonald added, “I loved my family and cared for them through good times and bad. I did my best. So I guess if there’s a place in the afterlife where little dogs and old dawgs go, then that’s where you’ll find me and Scarlett. Maybe I’ll see you all there sometime.”

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In the last few years, though, one more obituary has continued to stand out above the rest. As we previously mentioned, Sonia Todd felt the need to pen her own message back in 2012, summing up her thoughts before she died. But those words were somewhat different to most other obituaries out there.

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Todd made sure not to downplay certain aspects of her life, believing that it would’ve been dishonest otherwise. And in addition to the brutal honesty, the mom sprinkled plenty of humor into her eulogy as well. Following her passing, the obituary was eventually included in the Idaho Statesman newspaper in October 2012.

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“My name is Sonia Todd and I died of cancer at the age of 38,” Todd wrote. “I decided to write my own obituary because they are usually written in a couple of different ways that I just don’t care for.” At that point, the mom-of-two explained why she didn’t like some of the more traditional formats.

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Todd continued, “Either family or friends gather together and list every minor accomplishment from cradle to grave in a timeline format. Or they try and create one poetic last stanza about someone’s life that is so glowing, one would think the deceased had been the living embodiment of a deity.”

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Off the back of that strongly worded introduction, Todd then delved into the matter even further. While she made her feelings quite clear about the typical structure of the “timeline” format, there was something else that bothered her. As it turned out, the cancer sufferer wasn’t a fan of celebrating irrelevant achievements.

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Todd wrote, “I don’t like the timeline format because, let’s face it, I never really accomplished anything of note. Other than giving birth to my two wonderful, lovable, witty and amazing sons, marrying my gracious, understanding and precious husband and accepting the Lord Jesus Christ as my personal savior, I have done very little.”

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But Todd’s thoughts didn’t end there. She went on, “I also didn’t want a bunch of my friends sitting around writing a glowing report of me, which we all know would be filled with fish tales, half-truths, impossible scenarios and outright-honest-to-goodness-lies. I just don’t like to put people in that kind of situation.”

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At that stage, Todd attempted to sum up her overall approach to life in the message. According to the mom-of-two, she tried to live the right way with her family, noting some mixed results. Indeed, the matriarch wasn’t afraid to admit that she “failed” in certain ways, which she expanded upon a little later.

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“For all of my crazy comments, jokes and complaints, I really did love people,” Todd beautifully explained in her obituary. “The only thing that separates me from anyone else is the type of sin each of us participated in. I didn’t always do the right thing or say the right thing.”

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Todd added, “And when you come to the end of your life, those are the things you really regret, the small simple things that hurt other people.” From there, the mom-of-two opened up a bit more regarding certain aspects of her life. And much like we’ve already seen, she showed no reluctance in sharing the details.

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However, the tone of Todd’s words began to soften a touch at that point, adding some humor to the mix. “I would totally scrap the years of my life from age 16 to 20,” the parent wrote. “Okay, maybe 14 to 22. I think that would eradicate most of my fashion disasters and hair missteps from the 80s.”

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Todd then made sure to point out that she had a good life for the most part, despite a few ups and downs. On that note, she highlighted how difficult some of those times really were, before looking at the positives. In fact, the mom-of-two claimed that she picked up some important lessons on those occasions.

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Furthermore, Todd’s eulogy then took a darkly comic turn as she spoke about the things that no longer worried her. As she explained, “There are some benefits to dying youngish. For example, I still owe on my student loans and the joke’s on them cuz I’m not paying them. Plus, I am no longer afraid of serial killers, telemarketers or the IRS.”

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“I don’t have to worry about wrinkles or the ozone layer,” Todd added. “And/or hide from the news during election season.” Following that, the cancer sufferer then addressed those who questioned the idea of authoring your own eulogy. In her mind, it was an ideal way of sharing her gratitude with the important people in her life.

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In addition to that, Todd also dismissed the claims that she was being “morbid” by writing her own eulogy. But in an obituary dripping with honesty and dark humor, the message ended on a rather beautiful note. To finish things off, the dying woman focused her attention on the individuals that continued to stand by her.

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Todd said, “I think [writing your own obituary] is great. Because I get a chance to say thank you to all the people who helped me along the way. Those that loved me, assisted me, cared for me, laughed with me and taught me things so that I could have a wonderful, happy life.”

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“I was blessed beyond measure by knowing all of you,” Todd added. “That is what made my life worthwhile.” Following that conclusion, she had one final message to those who were reading her words. The mother wanted to pass on a few pieces of advice that would “honor” her memory after her death.

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Todd encouraged people to stop smoking, steer clear of driving under the influence and to offer their services to churches and schools as volunteers. Alongside that, she asked readers to spend more time with their children and bring a smile to someone’s face. With that, the obituary finally came to a close.

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Since Todd’s eulogy appeared in the local newspaper, several online outlets then picked up on it in the last few years. For instance, websites such as the HuffPost, JOE and Little Things all ran stories covering the obituary, sharing her words across the internet. But there was more to come on that front.

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For you see, the lifestyle website Love What Matters also got hold of Todd’s obituary in November 2016. From there, the message was subsequently posted in its entirety on the site’s official Facebook page. And in the time since then, the Idaho resident’s eulogy has appeared to resonate with users on social media.

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Todd’s words have earned close to 40,000 likes and over 5,600 shares on Facebook, with people flocking to read the message. Meanwhile, the obituary has generated in excess of 1,000 comments from users as well. And many of those posts proved to be incredibly positive, praising her attitude at the end.

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“Sonia, you’re still here making a difference and sharing a profound message!” wrote one social media user in the comments section on Facebook. “I am so sorry. Your footprint on others is strong and moving forward. Prayers for you and your loved ones. Looking forward to seeing you in Heaven.”

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Those thoughts were shared by several other users on the website, but one other comment really stood out. “You are a special angel Miss Sonia,” the individual wrote. “I can tell that in your short life you touched many people along your journey. Even though we never met, I feel how warm your heart is.”

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The Facebook user then added, “Your memory will go on in so many people who loved you, or had the blessing to read this post. Thank you for making me see just how important one person can [be] in one’s life, even if those people never even met. RIP Sonia.” And that’s the power of a self-penned obituary.

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