When Grandma Dies At 69, Her Daughter Finds A Secret Binder Labeled ‘Death Notebook’


When a loved one passes away, it can take a long time before feeling joy again. This story is about a beloved mother, wife and grandmother who died, leaving behind a secret gift for her family that would keep them smiling forever.

Emily Phillips was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and passed away about a month later at the age of 69. After her passing, her family was surprised to find she had penned her own obituary. For years, it was understood that her daughter, Bonnie, would write it for her.

But Emily’s unexpected words went viral after gaining national attention.

Bonnie Upright says her mother had secretly kept a binder called, “Emily’s Death Notebook.” In it, she had left instructions for when she passed away — and it’s the way Emily remembers her life with such humor and sass that left her family touched more than anything.

“I do find it surprising that she was able to work in the words ‘hiney’ and ‘naked’ in the obituary, that might have been a surprise. The fact that she did it, and she did it in context, is beautiful,” Bonnie said.

The “Death Notebook” also contains quips and stories from the former beauty queen who reflects upon her childhood and family in an endearing and heart-melting way.

A mother is caretaker of the home, the purveyor of unconditional love… and no one is left with this truth more than Emily’s family in the wake of her passing.

You can read Emily’s full obituary here.

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