Irish American Beth O’Rourke, a nurse, wife, and mother of two, wrote her own heartfelt obituary before losing her battle with biliary cancer on April 16.
In her writing, the 44-year-old Massachusetts native expressed the love she had for her family as well as her enthusiasm for life.
“I LOVED my life. I loved a long run, to sit quietly by the lake, to read and dance and sing and be silly with our children,” she wrote on the Heald and Chaimpa funeral home's tribute page.
“We loved watching summer storms blow across the water. I loved to chat and laugh with my sisters and friends, until tears ran down our legs! Brendan and I enjoyed many trips together, most enjoyable were those to Ireland, visiting family to share a pint and some good 'craic'. And of course sitting quietly on the porch with Brendan (listening to the Red Sox). I enjoyed working for a cause, among them, the Pancreatic Cancer Alliance, whose members' spirit and dedication amazed me.
“Of all the things I did in this life, nothing compared to being with Brendan and our children. I fought every day to stay alive and to be with them. No person could ever ask for a more loving and supportive husband, always my champion, always. I enjoyed every moment we shared; the great ones, the sad ones, the easy and the hard. I pray they have learned to feel the deep sense of faith that I shared. No matter where this journey brings me next, I will forever carry their love with me, as I am sure there is a piece of me that will forever remain with them.”
Jim Heald, owner of the funeral home and a longtime friend of O'Rourke's told ABC News that it was in O’Rourke’s character to craft her own obituary. He said that she showed the obituary to him a few months ago.
"She was a planner, and it was in her best efforts to prepare herself and her family for what was coming," he said. "Being in the first person is very different. I write them for the family and she did it firsthand. It's absolutely magnificent.
"In that obituary she was teaching. She so eloquently says, 'Cancer loses grace and love wins.' It was so profound and so true," he said.
O'Rourke's husband, Brendan O'Rourke, said that writing her own obituary was "typical Beth."
"By reading the obituary it kind of speaks to Beth and what she was like," Brendan O'Rourke said. "She was giving, loving, caring and inspirational.”
"It's pretty amazing to think that someone could write that before passing away. It's pretty amazing. Beth was amazing,” he said.
According to a GoFundMe page created for O’Rourke’s children (Courtney, 11, and Seamus, 8), she endured chemotherapy treatments as well as other medical procedures for seven years. In her obituary, she thanks her doctors and colleagues who supported and cared for her during that time.
She concludes her obituary saying: “But cancer does not care who it takes, who it hurts, or honor or love. It comes into your life and starts to break the threads that hold you and you are left to see pieces of yourself slip away and dreams fade. We were clung only to each other with pure love and faith binding us, in the end is when the most amazing thing happens, cancer loses its strength and grace appears. We need to see it. We accept it, and go with it. Grace and love win, not cancer.
“I hope to be remembered, with laughter, love and a good pint. And for my children to know "No Momma ever did and no Momma ever will….."