Alyssa Reads Her Sister’s Obituary

06/14/2019 By Alyssa

Brooklyn is Alyssa’s twin sister. Brooklyn has a terminal cancer diagnosis and asked Alyssa to write her obituary. She read it for her at CancerCon 2019 at GRYT Health’s Tell Your Story event. Grab a box of kleenex…


Hi. My name is Alyssa. I am Brooklyn’s twin sister, and Brooklyn has a terminal diagnosis and has about a month left in her prognosis. 

So one thing I have done as her caregiver has been planning her funeral, and I have written her eulogy that I’m going to share.  

Thank you all for being here today to remember Brooklyn and comfort one another. My name is Alyssa Bill, Brooklyn’s twin sister. 

It was Brooklyn who had specifically requested that I speak to all of you in this time of pain because she knew that seeing me up here and hearing my voice would be the closest that any of you could get to her today. 

Brooklyn was quite literally my other half and, certainly, my better half. She saw extreme value in me that no one else saw. She used to always tell me how hilarious I was and ask why I was not so funny in front of everyone else. I don’t know who will find me funny now. 

I don’t know how a lot of things will work now. I’m not sure who will accompany me to the grocery store, listen to me cry and show up at midnight with ice cream.  I don’t know what I will do when I pick up my phone to call her and realize that I can’t. I don’t know what I will do when I catch a glimpse of my own reflection and mistake it for her. 

The intense grief I feel today is proof of the impact she had on my life as well as many others. 

She was the best aunt to all of my children, and she wore that title with pride. She was someone who spoke so highly of my boys and praised all their accomplishments. She never felt the light on the face of my baby when she walked into the room. Brooklyn was the best mom that any bearded dragon ever had. 

She was an honest friend. She was an ideal student and academic as well as a prized teacher. I was so privileged to get to grow alongside her and watch her become a lovely young woman who exhibited more strength than any other human I’ve ever met.  

She has left her mark on this world in so many ways. I would not be who I am today without Brooklyn. After she became sick, we began intentionally to make as many memories together as possible.  One of those memories is shopping for her wedding dress. When she found the dress and stood there on the pedestal, looking nothing short of absolutely beautiful, I’d told her that while I hated the circumstances, I was so glad that I could experience that moment with her. 

She responded by telling me that she had had a dream the night before of the happiest moment that she had ever imagined. The moment that we would finally be reunited. And in our dream sorrow, that is the hope we have today that is the anchor for our souls. In her last days, she clinged to that hope, and I urge you all to do the same. 

I will miss her dearly as I anxiously wait to see her again. 

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