So she decided to give the world a farewell in her own words.
The Florida grandmother's self-penned obituary has taken the Internet by storm since she passed away last week, and has received more than 5,100 likes on Facebook since it was shared by The Florida Times-Union on Tuesday.
"It pains me to admit it, but apparently, I have passed away,' Phillips, 69, writes in the obituary's opening. "Everyone told me it would happen one day, but that's simply not something I wanted to hear, much less experience."
From there, Phillips, a longtime public school teacher who lived in Orange Park, takes the reader on a journey through her life. Her recollections of walking to Hazelwood Elementary School in Hazelwood, N.C. Her father calling square dances. Performing skits for the 4-H Club in fifth grade. Being a beauty pageant competitor. Leading the high school band down King Street in New Orleans for Mardi Gras when she was head majorette.
The obituary's tone shifts between humorous and sentimental, and Phillips pauses to reflect on the little moments of her journey and takes a stab at some of life's more existential questions.
Phillips began writing the obituary soon after she was diagnosed with the terminal illness in February, her daughter, Bonnie Upright, told FoxNews.com on Friday. At first, Upright says, the family was resistant, but listened when her mother insisted they hear her read it.
"So ... I was born; I blinked; and it was over. No buildings named after me; no monuments erected in my honor. But I DID have the chance to know and love each and every friend as well as all my family members. How much more blessed can a person be?" Phillips writes. "So in the end, remember ... do your best, follow your arrow, and make something amazing out of your life. Oh, and never stop smiling."
Read the full report on FOX News.com.
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