Brother’s Unusual Obituary for His Sister With Cerebral Palsy Catches Lots of Attention on Twitter
One Saturday morning, Daniel Miller’s wife was reading the obituaries in the LA Times, and she came across one that really stood out. She showed it to her husband, who happens to be a staff writer for the newspaper, and he was struck by how unusual yet touching it was. He decided to share the unusual obituary on Twitter.
Miller didn’t know what to expect in the comments on his tweet, but he definitely didn’t expect what happened. He thought some people might be negative, as often happens on Twitter, but he was not expecting over 250,000 likes and over 27,000 retweets.
In the comments, people wrote touching sentiments of their own, relating stories about relatives with cerebral palsy. You see, the obituary Miller tweeted was about a 61-year-old woman who had cerebral palsy. The obituary was written by her brother. It was short, sweet, and touching.
Remarkable obituary in today’s paper. pic.twitter.com/UbgbxzwHg6
— Daniel Miller (@DanielNMiller) September 18, 2021
Erik Sydow is Karen Ann Sydow’s older brother. When Karen was 3 years old, she was diagnosed with cerebral palsy. Her family made changes to their lives to give Karen the best care possible. Her family moved to be near a facility where she would receive special care, including music lessons, which she loved.
Erik wrote in the obituary that Karen only spoke three words: Piano, Donalds (her way of saying the name of her favorite restaurant, McDonald’s), and Mom.
Karen and Erik’s mom passed away earlier this year. On Erik’s last visit with his sister, she said, “Mom. Mom.” Erik told her that Mom isn’t here anymore. Karen put her head on her brother’s shoulder and cried. Erik believes his sister passed away partly because she wanted to be with her mom again.
It is clear from the obituary that Erik misses his sister very much. Is it clear from the response on Twitter that many other people were touched by his heartfelt words.
This is my 25 yr old son who also has cerebral palsy. Hes got three siblings: two human and one canine. He’s an amazing person and I dread the moment we depart from each other. pic.twitter.com/K6W5vaP5mH
— 🇺🇸Livin👰🏻Mi👩🏻💻Vida👩🏻🏫Latina🧖🏻♀️🇲🇽 (@HelicaLG) September 19, 2021
Masterful and moving words. You guys need to read the obituary he wrote for his mother, too. Got bless his departed Mom and sister, and God bless him, too. pic.twitter.com/R5LV7OqzxG
— CA-American Immigrant 📸🌊🌊🌊🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸 (@bayarea925foto) September 21, 2021
If the point of an obituary is to make you feel you knew the person and to share their loss then the fact her brother did so in so few words is astounding. What a beautiful tribute. Thank you for sharing your sister with us Erik. I’m so sorry for your loss.
— Mosatch8 (@Mosatch8) September 19, 2021
Miller reached out to Erik to tell him he had shared the obituary on Twitter and that there had been a huge positive response. Miller wrote in the LA Times that Erik was moved by the support people were showing for his family on Twitter, but he mainly just wanted to talk to Miller about his sister.