Woman Writes Own Death Notice, Goes Viral for Good Advice

Category: Lifestyle/Entertainment

Listening

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. obituary / oʊˈbɪtʃ uˌɛr i / (n) – a notice of a death, often published in a newspaper that usually includes a short biography of the person who passed away
    Example:

    I couldn’t stop crying when I read my dead grandfather’s obituary.


  2. pen / pɛn / (v) – to write
    Example:

    She penned a beautiful poem about her first love.


  3. wear many hats / wɛr ˈmɛni hæts / (idiom) – to do various jobs or have many roles
    Example:

    My friend wears many hats: he’s a father, an actor, and a businessman.


  4. zest / zɛst / (n) – a feeling of enjoyment or excitement for something
    Example:

    Her zest for art can be seen through her works.


  5. comforting / ˈkʌm fər tɪŋ / (adj) – causing someone to feel less worried, sad, or afraid
    Example:

    My mom gives me a comforting hug whenever I’m having a bad day.


Article

Read the text below.

A self-written obituary by a woman from Chicago has gone viral for its wise words.


Stacy Lois Oliver penned her obituary before passing away at the age of 52 on October 4, 2020. Two years earlier, she was diagnosed with a neurodegenerative disorder. According to her doctors, there was no cure for her condition, and it would get worse quickly. According to Stacy’s husband, Jeff, when she found out that she did not have much time left to live, she decided to express her thoughts immediately by writing her own obituary.


In her obituary, Stacy shared life lessons, encouraging people to enjoy the moment and stop worrying. She also advised people to smile more and to try and experience new things.


Stacy also wrote about how she spent almost her entire life in Chicago. Although she worked as a university employee for 21 years, she did not limit herself to one profession. She wore many hats: she was an actress, singer, dancer, jewelry maker, and baker.


Jeff said he can feel his wife’s zest for life when he reads her obituary. According to him, his late wife was very energetic yet focused. Jeff also shared that Stacy had a lot of self-confidence, which she used to make other people feel good about themselves too.


Although Jeff is having a difficult time with the loss of his wife, he said it is comforting to know that Stacy’s words of wisdom continue to have a positive impact on others.


Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

• Do you think most people will find it easy to follow Stacy's advice? Why or why not?
• How would you like other people to remember you (e.g. as someone who always helped others)? Discuss.

Discussion B

• What life lesson would you share with other people? Discuss.
• What life advice do you find difficult to follow (e.g. to learn to live in the moment)? Explain.