Most obituaries are about celebrating the things people loved about the deceased, from special memories to life achievements, but one dying woman seized the opportunity to have her final say and called out medical staff who she says “fat shamed” her when she was unwell.
Ellen Maud Bennett, who passed away on May 11, 2018, entrusted her loved ones with a final message and asked them to print it in her death notice, slamming doctors who blamed her health problems on her weight before she was diagnosed with terminal cancer.
“A final message Ellen wanted to share was about the fat shaming she endured from the medical profession,” the obituary reads. “Over the past few years of feeling unwell she sought out medical intervention and no one offered any support or suggestions beyond weight loss. Ellen’s dying wish was that women of size make her death matter by advocating strongly for their health and not accepting that fat is the only relevant health issue.”
Described as an unforgettable character, the 64-year-old used the opportunity to call on society to “not accept that fat is the only relevant health issue”, claiming that she was never offered any medical help or solutions – except for suggestions on how to lose weight.
The passionate obituary was published in the Times Columnist newspaper and described Bennett as “a remarkable woman” has been shared widely on social media, with many people praising her for her stance on fat shaming and others sharing their own similar experiences.
One user wrote on Twitter: “It wasn’t until I started taking interest in my sister’s health as an adult and took her to my doctor that we found she had several ailments that had been untreated for years because doctors refused to treat her and kept telling her to lose weight first.”
Another said: “Gosh, such a large soul treated so badly because of size. So sad and so wrong.”
After years of feeling unwell & seeking help only to be told that the problem was simply her weight, Ellen Maud Bennett was diagnosed with terminal cancer & given only days to live. When fat people say fat hatred kills us, this is what we mean. https://t.co/mWhsocWJGo
— dr. nadia mohd rasidi (@nrasidi) July 25, 2018
The newspaper notice also noted that the Canadian woman filled her final days with humour, love and exacting demands, such as requesting fresh lobster to be shipped from Nova Scotia and sending relatives to source her favourite flowers, peonies.
It’s not the first time that an outlandish obit has gone viral though. Recently a son and daughter from the US used their mother’s death notice to slate her for abandoning them to be raised by their grandparents, claiming she “will not be missed”.
The scathing obit read: “She abandoned her children, Gina and Jay, who were then raised by her parents in Clements, Mr and Mrs Joseph Schunk,” the acid-tongued obituary read.
“She passed away on May 31, 2018 in Springfield and will now face judgment. She will not be missed by Gina and Jay, and they understand that this world is a better place without her.”