Emily Debrayda Phillips passed away just 29 days after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer

By Jessica Fecteau
Updated April 03, 2015 06:50 PM
Courtesy Bonnie Upright

Just 29 days after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, Emily Debrayda Phillips of Jacksonville, Florida, died. But before she passed, she penned her own obituary, posted in the Florida Times-Union.

In her humorous and heartfelt note, Phillips, 69, recounted memories of significant life experiences and the small things in life she once loved.

“So many things in my life seemed of little significance at the time they happened but then took on a greater importance as I got older,” she wrote. “The memories I’m taking with me now are so precious and have more value than all the gold and silver in my jewelry box.”

The retired elementary teacher continued on, detailing her childhood, her career, marrying the love of her life and having two children.

“I married the man of my dreams (tall, dark, and handsome) on Dec. 16, 1967 and from that day on I was proud to be Mrs. Charlie Phillips, Grand Diva Of All Things Domestic,” she wrote. “Our plan was to have two children, a girl and a boy. Inexplicably we were successful in doing exactly that when we were blessed with our daughter Bonnie and then later our son Scott. Seeing these two grow into who they were supposed to be brought a wonderful sense of meaning to our lives.”

And to make amends before her passing, Phillips took the time to make sure her apologies are heard.

“I apologize for making sweet Bonnie wear No Frills jeans when she was little and for ‘red-shirting’ Scott in kindergarten. Apparently each of these things was humiliating to them but both were able to rise above their shame and become very successful adults. I’d also like to apologize to Mary Ann for tearing up her paper dolls and to Betsy for dating a guy she had a crush on.”

She ended the note with “I’ll leave you with this … 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. Emily”