A Chicago woman is going viral for her sage advice about living in the moment — which she included in her own obituary.
Stacy Lois Oliver died on October 4, 2020 at the age of 52 following a battle with multiple system atrophy. But before the neurodegenerative disorder robbed her of the ability to talk or write, she sat down and penned her own obituary.
After discussing her life, history, and accomplishments, Stacy signed off with an important bit of wisdom about enjoying life while you have it, quipping: ‘Take it from me, I’m dead.’
Obituary writer: Stacy Lois Oliver died on October 4, 2020 at the age of 52 following a battle with multiple system atrophy
Prepared: Before she grew too sick, she wrote her own obituary for her husband Jeff Oliver to publish after her death
‘I’ve never done anything the “normal” or “regular” way,’ Stacy began her obit, which ran in the Chicago Tribune.
‘I thought “why not write my own obituary and continue this kind of behavior until the end?” My mom always said “if I’m not going to blow my own horn no one else will.” Sooo, toot toot. I don’t want a list of whom I’m related to that doesn’t say a thing about my life and who’s really in it.’
She went on to share details about her life, but it was her sign-off that really captured the internet’s attention.
‘May I just say this,’ she wrote. ‘I’m not telling you what to do, but I am telling you what to do.
‘Stop worrying about your weight, go live, be, do. Smile, people don’t get to feel them enough. Enjoy the moment, it might not come again.
‘If you want to do it, give something a try, try it, taste it, go there. Take it from me, I’m dead.
Stacy’s husband of 21 years, Jeff Oliver, said that she knew her disease ‘was going to start taking more and more of her away’ so she ‘decided to get her thoughts out quickly’
‘Stop worrying about your weight, go live, be, do. Smile, people don’t get to feel them enough. Enjoy the moment, it might not come again,’ shewrote
‘Eat the danish, go to the show, laugh out loud. Love one another and you’ll never know what you’ll find.’
Stacy’s husband of 21 years, Jeff Oliver, told Good Morning America that she knew her disease ‘was going to start taking more and more of her away’ so she ‘decided to get her thoughts out quickly.’
‘When she says “eat the danish,” it is to enjoy something, but it’s also live life. Do something,’ he said. ‘She was always like that. If you want to try something, go try something. If you want to do something, do it.
‘She was the kind of person where you thought she has the energy of three people, almost like a kid, but focused. Her mom raised her to have a lot of confidence in herself, not cockiness, just confidence, and she could do that for others, when others couldn’t see it in themselves.’
Certainly, plenty of other were touched by Stacy’s obit, with even strangers leaving comments online.
‘What a very special lady! I sincerely wish I had known such a gem. My thoughts and prayers are with all who loved Stacy,’ wrote one.
In love: Stacy is pictured with her husband Jeff
Loved: She talked about her mom, her friends, her home nurse, and her stepson Spike in her obit
‘Wow! I would’ve loved to have known you! You sound like you were the light in the room! My kind of people!’ said another.
Jeff said that the response is helping him through his wife’s death.
‘Even though now is a tough time, I still see how she is affecting people and it brings me comfort,’ he said. ‘I was lucky to be in that sunshine for that long so I’m a pretty lucky guy.’
Stacy’s obituary also included a short biography of her existence as a ‘lifelong Chicagoan’ who wore ‘many hats, professionally,’ having done improv, worked at Henry Bendel, sang in clubs and cabarets, and worked at Northwestern University, where she received a journalism degree.
‘In-between for fun I made beaded jewelry, belly-danced and hula-danced, sewed, baked, did some gardening, loved participating at my Temple Beth Israel, and enjoyed plays and musicals,’ she said.
‘If you want to do it, give something a try, try it, taste it, go there. Take it from me, I’m dead,’ she wrote
She wrote: ‘Eat the danish, go to the show, laugh out loud. Love one another and you’ll never know what you’ll find’
‘While I’m on the topic of love and fun,’ she wrote, ‘I was lucky enough to marry Jeff October 9, 1999, truly my best friend and the love of my life. He’s kind, likes a pun, has a super-distinctive laugh (he gets his giggle on every morning watching funny shows), and is so handsome (he grew his beard for me before we were married and always kept it.)
‘He’d take me anywhere I wanted to go and went to all the events I planned. I was real with him and forever grateful that he shared his life with me.’
She talked about her mom, her friends, her home nurse, and her stepson Spike.
‘Talented, sweet, silly, my stepson Spike. May music always surround you and your dreams come true. I loved you as if you were my own,’ she wrote.
She also asked that people make donations to the Chicago History Museum in lieu of sending flowers.