woman says eat the danish
Julie Hambleton
Julie Hambleton
March 14, 2024 ·  3 min read

Woman, 52, offers advice in obituary: ‘Eat the Danish. Stop worrying about your weight’

When Stacy Oliver was diagnosed with a rare disorder that she knew would eventually take her life, she wanted to make sure her last words were meaningful ones. This obituary advice is exactly that: Wisdom she learned over her life that she wanted other people to hear. Her biggest point? Just eat the danish. (1)

Obituary Advice For How to Live Life

Stacy Oliver passed away from cerebellar type multiple system atrophy (MSA) (1). This is a progressive disease that slowly shuts down your body’s systems until you can’t move, speak, digest, or even regulate your own blood pressure. It is extremely rare and doctors don’t yet know what causes it. (2)

Soon after Oliver was diagnosed with the disorder, she decided to write her own obituary. The singer, actress, writer, comedian, and dancer wanted her obituary to be more impactful than just a list of the people she was related to. (1)

Her obituary advice is this:

“I’m not telling you what to do, but I am telling you what to do. Stop worrying about your weight, go live, be, do. Smile, people don’t get to feel them enough. Enjoy the moment, it might not come again. If you want to do it, give something a try, try it, taste it, go there. Take it from me, I’m dead. Eat the Danish, go to the show, laugh out loud. Love one another and you’ll never know what you’ll find.” (1)

Obituary Advice From a Woman Who Understands

Oliver’s words come from a place of understanding. According to her husband, she was a food lover who enjoyed trying new things as often as possible. For much of her life, however, she struggled with her weight and feeling comfortable in her own body. (1)

Oliver loved to experience new things, including new food concoctions, her husband said.
Image Credit: Jeff Oliver

One of the benefits of knowing that your life is coming to an end early is that it allows you to let go of some of these societal expectations of looking or acting a certain way and just simply enjoying life. In her obituary, that’s exactly what Oliver wanted to convey. We spend so much time worrying and trying to be one way that we deprive ourselves of joys that are right there in front of us.

Laughing Until the End

Despite the difficulties that this disease brought her, Oliver never lost her humor. This vibrant and energetic woman who loved hula and belly dancing slowly lost her ability to move. First, she had to use a walker, then a wheelchair, and then finally she was confined to her bed for the last 10 months of her life. (1)

Despite this, she was always joking around and living her life to the absolute fullest that she was capable of. For the first bit of time after she lost her ability to speak she was able to use a voice generating system that she controlled with her eyes. (1)

Stacy and Jeff Oliver share a happy moment. "People were nuts about her," he said.
Image Credit: Jeff Oliver

Her favorite thing to say to her husband Jeff was “You’re fired!”. After he lost his job in the 2008 recession, he went back to school to studying nursing so that he could be of better help to Oliver, who was experiencing some other medical problems at the time. During the course of her MSA, he was her live-in nurse. (1)

She passed away just five days before their 21st wedding anniversary. (1)

Her husband Jeff says that her obituary advice was right in line with how she lived her life, right up until the end. (1)

“To me what that’s focusing on is: Believe in other people and believe in yourself… and once in a while, enjoy yourself. Eat something that you love, that gives you a little bit of joy. Smile at other people,” he said. (1)

Have Fun, and Indulge Now and Then

Yes, it is important to do our best to live a healthy life, but that doesn’t just mean by restricting ourselves to achieve some “goal” weight. It should be about living well, having fun, and indulging now and again. According to Oliver, life should be enjoyed, from the big moments to the small indulgence. That is some sage obituary advice.


  1. https://edition.cnn.com/2013/03/20/business/sothebys-china-bowl/index.html
  2. https://www.sothebys.com/en/auctions/ecatalogue/2013/chinese-works-of-art-n08974/lot.94.html
  3. https://www.eskenazi.co.uk/en-gb/exhibitions/principal-wares-of-the-song-period-from-a-private/green-grey-glazed-stoneware-dish