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‘My name is Sonia Todd…’

by Legacy Staff

When 38-year-old mother Sonia Todd was dying of cancer, she penned her own poignant obituary. Four years after her death, her words still resonate.

“My name is Sonia Todd and I died of cancer at the age of 38.”

So begins the poignant and straightforward obituary written by a “youngish” mother just before her death from cancer. According to the obituary published on the Idaho Statesman website, Todd wrote her own because she didn’t care for the usual sorts of obituaries:

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.


According to Todd, she didn’t do anything worth shelling out the money to publish in an obit. Nor did she wish for her family and friends to fabricate a “glowing report” filled with half-truths.

I just tried to do the best I could. Sometimes I succeeded, most of the time I failed, but I tried. For all of my crazy comments, jokes, and complaints, I really did love people… Some folks told me that writing my own obituary was morbid, but I think it is great because I get a chance to say thank you to all the people who helped me along the way… I was blessed beyond measure by knowing all of you. That is what made my life worthwhile.

Writing her own obituary also gave Todd the chance to share last words of advice:

  • If you smoke—quit
  • If you drink and drive—stop
  • …take a kid out for ice cream and talk to them about their hopes and dreams
  • Forgive someone who doesn’t deserve it

Sonia Todd deserved more time with her children, but through her words, they will have another way to remember their mother.

And long after her death, Sonia continues to inspire people who never met her in life:

Originally published 10/19/2012

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