Massachusetts Mom Beth O'Rourke Types Own Obituary Before Her Death

Beth O'Rourke bids farewell to loved ones in her eulogy.

ByNicole Pelletiere
April 23, 2015, 4:02 PM
PHOTO: Beth O'Rourke is seen in this photo with her husband, Brendan O'Rourke, courtesy of GoFundMe.
Beth O'Rourke is seen in this photo with her husband, Brendan O'Rourke, courtesy of GoFundMe.
A Story About Love/GoFundMe

— -- "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."

Those are the words told by Beth O'Rourke, a nurse, wife and mom of two who died on April 16 after losing a long battle with biliary cancer.

Prior to her passing, the 44-year-old Massachusetts native wrote her own heartfelt obituary, mentioning the love she had for her children and husband, and her overall enthusiasm for life.

"Of all the things I did in this life, nothing compared to being with Brendan and our children," she wrote on the Heald and Chaimpa funeral home's tribute page. "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."

It was in O'Rourke's character to craft her own obituary, said Jim Heald, owner of the funeral home and a longtime friend of O'Rourke's. He added that she showed the obituary to him a few months ago.

PHOTO: Beth O'Rourke died on April 16.
Beth O'Rourke died on April 16.
Heald & Chiampa Funeral Home

"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, told ABC News 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.

For a period of seven years, O'Rourke endured chemotherapy treatments among other medical procedures, as told on the GoFundMe page created for her children, Courtney, 11 and Seamus, 8.

In her obituary, O'Rourke expresses her gratitude to her doctors and colleagues who supported and cared for her during her cancer fight.

She concludes her eulogy by addressing her family, asking them to keep her memory in their hearts.

"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."

"But cancer does not care who it takes, who it hurts, or honor or love."

"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. ..."

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