Tags: emily debrayda phillips | obituary

Emily Debrayda Phillips Obituary, Written Herself, Is Heartwarming

By    |   Friday, 03 Apr 2015 06:45 PM

Emily Debrayda Phillips, a 69-year-old Florida teacher who died last week, stole the hearts of the nation with her obituary, which she penned before her death from her wealth of experience and love.

Phillips told her daughter, Bonnie Upright, that she wanted to write her own obituary but her daughter said at first she was too raw to hear what her mother had to say. When she finally heard her mom read the obituary, she told The Huffington Post that she was moved beyond words.

"Quite honestly, it was one of the most special moments of my life," Upright told the Post. "To hear my mom tell her story, with her words, and her voice, is something I will always treasure. We laughed at the appropriate times, and cried when she was through."

The blunt, warm and loving obituary recounts childhood memories. “I remember Mother wearing an apron; I remember Daddy calling Square Dances; I remember my older sister pushing me off my tricycle (on the cinder driveway); I remember my younger sister sleep walking out of the house; I remember grandmother Nonnie who sewed exquisite dresses for me when I was little,” Phillips wrote.

Her love for her children, daughter Upright and son Scott Phillips, and her grandchildren shone through, as did her sense of humor.

“Just when I thought I was too old to fall in love again, I became a grandmother, and my five grand-angels stole not only my heart, but also spent most of my money,” Phillips said. “They're treasures that are irreplaceable and will go with me wherever my journey takes me.”

Upright said she is proud that the now-viral obituary is touching people everywhere. "She was a teacher by profession, so for many years, she impacted the lives of hundreds of children. But in the end, it’s the lesson she’s taught adults that may be the most memorable of all,” she told the Post.

Phillips ended her obituary memorably, “Today I am happy and I am dancing. Probably naked. Love you forever. Emily”

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Emily Debrayda Phillips, a 69-year-old Florida teacher who died last week, stole the hearts of the nation with her obituary, which she penned before her death from her wealth of experience and love.
emily debrayda phillips, obituary
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Friday, 03 Apr 2015 06:45 PM
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