Minnesota Woman Writes Her Own Obituary: ‘Forgive Someone Who Doesn’t Deserve It’

By Aimee Blanchette
Star Tribune (Minneapolis)

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Debra Berger decided to write her own obituary because she said they are usually written in a couple of different ways that she just doesn’t care for. She didn’t want a list of every minor accomplishment from cradle to grave or to be glorified.

Star Tribune (Minneapolis)

Debra Berger wasn’t the kind of person to let others speak for her. Not even in the afterlife.

The Moorhead woman wrote her own obituary after learning there was nothing more that could be done to cure the end-stage liver and kidney disease she had been battling for four years.

“It’s the absolute perfect representation of her,” said daughter Britney Berger, 28. “She was never the kind of person who wanted insincere friendships.”

Berger died at age 55. Her obituary appeared in the Fargo Forum and was packed with advice that’s resonated with thousands across social media:

“My name is Debi. I decided to write my own obituary because they are usually written in a couple of different ways that I just don’t care for,” the obituary read. “Either, family or friends gather together, and list every minor accomplishment from cradle to grave in a timeline format, or they try and create one poetic last stanza about someone’s life that is so glowing one would think the deceased had been the living embodiment of a deity.

“If you think of me, and would like to do something in honor of my memory do this:

_ Write a letter to someone and tell them how they have had a positive effect on your life.
_ If you smoke – quit.
_ If you drink and drive – stop.
_ Turn off the electronics and take your child or children out for ice cream and talk to them about their hopes and dreams.
_ Forgive someone who doesn’t deserve it.
_ Stop at all lemonade-stands run by kids and brag about their product.
_ Make someone smile today if it is in your power to do so.”

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