Someone sent us Nancy Lee Hixson’s self-written obituary, which recently ran in the Cleveland Plain Dealer … it’s well worth a few minutes of your time. Ms. Hixson was obviously a remarkable person, a one-of-a-kind character who lived her life with gusto, courage, humor, and passion…she paints her own self portrait with a witty irreverence that makes us sorry we never had the opportunity to meet her.
This obituary has gone viral in just a few days, careening its way through websites and emails. Strangers who read it are touched and motivated to leave wonderful messages on her obituary page. It illustrates the power that one person can have – even in death – to reach out and inspire others.
We particularly liked this comment from someone who stated that she was Nancy’s sister:

Through her death notice. Nancy Lee is unforgettable, unquenchable and unrelenting. Listen to a bird chirp, watch a leaf float all the way to the ground, stomp through every puddle you meet, brush your pet 100 strokes every day, run headlong down a hill, name the clouds, walk with purpose, sit perfectly still and listen to the air, wake with a smile for the new day, and always, always, always keep a pocket free for the litter you encounter on your way. Live with deliberation, search for joy, seek an adventure and you will find her spirit within you. Grateful tears to each of you who have affirmed her spirit and offered solace by writing here.

As many others have stated, we are left wishing we knew more about this remarkable woman. She reminds us a bit of Randy Pausch, another remarkable person who lived life fully, inspired others, and faced his impending death from cancer with courage and grace. As my colleague Bill Bowler noted when discussing life’s lessons learned from Pausch, “…this may be a good time for the rest of us to step back and examine the guiding principals by which we lead our lives. Unlike the economic crisis, over which we individually may have little control, each of us has absolute control over how we order our lives.”
Rest in peace, Nancy Lee Hixson – we thoroughly enjoyed meeting you, even if it was posthumously.


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