The Sweet Reason People Can’t Stop Sharing This 91-Year-Old Woman’s Obituary

One sentence is inspiring good deeds in everyone who reads it.

This-Obituary-Has-a-Surprising-but-Sweet-RequestJeff-Wasserman/ShutterstockDeath is a solemn reminder of what’s valuable in life, and this woman’s final message is sharing compassion.

Jeanne Esther Barbour passed away at 91, but death isn’t stopping the Syracuse, New York, resident from spreading love. “In lieu of flowers, please be kind to someone,” her obituary reads. “Call a friend or relative you haven’t reached out to recently. Visit a shut-in or nursing home resident. Forgive someone. All acts of kindness are appreciated.”

Barbour was a “tiny dynamo” who paid her way through Syracuse University by inspecting World War II machine guns, according to her obituary. In addition to her involvement with the Catholic Church and Legion of Mary, Barbour loved to paint, travel, and hunt for antiques.

CBS 5 news anchor Michael Benny shared the obituary on Facebook, commenting “RIP lady, wish I knew you.” The post received more than 500 likes, along with some comments expressing how the words moved them.

Central New York woman's obituary has a wonderful idea "in lieu of flowers…" RIP lady, wish I knew you.

Posted by Michael Benny on Monday, March 13, 2017

“She was my great aunt on my mother’s side. She was a remarkable woman and raised a wonderful family of people who are just as kind, generous and loving as she was,” wrote one commenter.

“I have a bucket list and item #2 reads, foster an elderly person. I am putting that item at the top of my list #1,” wrote another.

We hope that others are just as inspired by Barbour and pass on a random act of kindness in her memory.

MORE: 7 Almost Effortless Ways to Be Just a Little Nicer

Do you live in a place where nice is the golden rule? Help us in our search for Nicest Place in America by nominating it today! If chosen, it will appear on an upcoming cover of Reader’s Digest!

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Marissa Laliberte
Marissa Laliberte-Simonian is a London-based associate editor with the global promotions team at WebMD’s and was previously a staff writer for Reader's Digest. Her work has also appeared in Business Insider, Parents magazine, CreakyJoints, and the Baltimore Sun. You can find her on Instagram @marissasimonian.