Woman’s self-written obituary goes viral
Most people don’t get to write the ending to their own story, but Kay Ann Heggestad’s narrative has never been normal.
MADISON, Wis. — “She was a spitfire,” her husband, Paul Wertsch, said. “She just really was a force of nature to be reckoned with.”
“Humor and comedy were very important to her her entire life,” her son, Greg, said. “She’d always make us laugh, no matter what.”
A doctor, poker player and quite the comedian, Kay’s family could go on and on with stories of her life. But it’s the story published after her death that caught everyone’s attention.
“Probably pretty soon after the diagnosis, she started talking about writing her own,” daughter Johanna said.
Kay died Friday, two years after being diagnosed with bone marrow cancer, but not before she penned her own obituary.
“And she rewrote it, and rewrote it again,” Johanna said. “She would find it not funny enough, and she’d add to it, and so she did that up until her last week.”
“She wanted to have a funny obituary,” Paul said. “She didn’t think death was that bad, and it was just another phase and when you die, you die. She wanted to have people laugh over it.”
Kay’s self-written obituary has been shared over social media hundreds of times.
“That was the interesting thing that people that had never met her said, ‘I wish I would have known her from reading that,” Paul said.
“A lot of doctors and nurses have written in, saying it’s going to inspire them,” Greg said. “It’s very powerful from people that never met her.”
In writing her own story, Kay was hoping to impact the rest of ours with a little piece of advice.
“She said, ‘Use the good china. Don’t save things for later. Enjoy life now,'” Greg said. “Which I think is a good lesson, because we don’t know when death comes. And it’s coming for everyone.”
Kay’s family asks that anyone with stories about her life to email them in to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you would like to do something in her honor, her family asks that you donate blood.
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