This Cancer Patient's Posthumous Facebook Post Is Both Beautiful & Funny

Photo: Courtesy of Heather McManamy.
Heather McManamy was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2013 and metastatic cancer in 2014. Tragically, she passed away this week at the age of 36 — but not before she wrote a beautiful goodbye letter to her loved ones, including her four-year-old daughter, Brianna.

On Tuesday morning, McManamy's husband, Jeff, took to her personal Facebook account to post a letter alerting her followers of her passing. The letter is both touching and funny, and it's clearly written from the heart. "So…I have some good news and some bad news,"the letter begins. "The bad news is, apparently, I’m dead. Good news, if you’re reading this, is that you are most definitely not (unless they have Wi-Fi in the afterlife)."

McManamy urged her loved ones to "run up a bar tab that would make me proud" at her funeral and to "experience the same appreciation for the gift of each day that I did." Her concern for how her followers will receive the news is evident, as she made sure to comfort them throughout the post. She even mentioned that she "[looks] forward to haunting each one" of them. McManamy was clearly aware that humor can often do more than platitudes for overcoming grief; the future greeting cards she wrote for her daughter in July are just another example of her thoughtful wit.

Of course, McMamany didn't sign off until she set a few things straight. First of all, she didn't want anyone sugar-coating her death: "Whatever religion brings you comfort, I am happy that you have that. However, respect that we are not religious. Please, please, please do not tell Brianna that I am in heaven. In her mind, that means that I chose to be somewhere else and left her."

She also addressed exactly how she wants others to refer to her illness. "It wasn’t a 'battle,'" the letter reads. "[I]t was just life, which is often brutally random and unfair, and that’s simply how it goes sometimes. I didn’t lose, dammit. The way I lived for years with cancer is something I consider a pretty big victory. Please remember that." This sentiment — that people don't "fight" or "battle" cancer — is shared by many people diagnosed with the disease.

McManamy's book, Cards for Brianna: A Lifetime of Lessons and Love from a Dying Mother to Her Daughter, will be released in April next year, and if her farewell letter is any indication, it's going to be one heartfelt, important read.

Read McManamy's Facebook post in full here:

Hello all,I am posting this on behalf of the love of my life. These are her words. Much love to all. - Jeff...

Posted by Heather McManamy on Tuesday, December 15, 2015
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