Ellen Bennett has used her obituary to encourage women not to accept "loose weight" as the answer to all their health problems. Traditionally obitu
Ellen Bennett has used her obituary to encourage women not to accept “loose weight” as the answer to all their health problems.
Traditionally obituaries are written after a person dies.
Loved ones share personal information to create a beautiful, heartfelt account of someone they held dear.
However, before she died, one woman made sure her obituary contained a powerful message for others like her.
Ellen Bennett died in May 2018 of an inoperable cancer.
The 64-year-old from Canada was the eldest of five siblings and worked as a costume designer, previously owning her own vintage clothing store.
This could be me.
ADVOCATE for access to fair healthcare, friends. No matter your size, if your doctor suggests weight loss, PUSH BACK– it will help all of us, especially those of us who often have our issues dismissed due to weight or size.https://t.co/ZRJfRqPqKC
— 🔥This Is Not Fine🔥 (@Adri) July 25, 2018
An obituary for Ellen was shared by the Victoria Times Colonist .
It featured an important final message from the woman, who was described by her family as “an unforgettable character”.
Ellen wanted to highlight the ‘fat shaming’ she felt she suffered at the hands of doctors throughout her illness.
Her message read: “A final message Ellen wanted to share was about the fat shaming she endured from the medical profession.
“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.”
The obituary has sparked action among other women, who have taken to Twitter to share their own experiences of fat shaming.
One woman wrote: “This could be me. ADVOCATE for access to fair healthcare, friends. No matter your size, if your doctor suggests weight loss, PUSH BACK– it will help all of us, especially those of us who often have our issues dismissed due to weight or size.”
Another said: “Ellen Bennet’s obituary. She’s dead. It was cancer, not her dress size that killed her. I worry this could be me some day. I ACTUALLY WORRY ABOUT THIS. We need to make it stop.”
A third added: “People of all sizes have a right to equitable health care services, free from discrimination based on their size. Much respect to Ellen Maud Bennett for demanding better care for others than what she herself received.”
Ellen’s family also spoke about how she spent her last few days with “humour” and “love”.
“Ellen was all about style and art directed her own life splendidly. Make up, fashion and home décor sustained her,” they added.
“Please remember Ellen when you next read a great book, go to a play or buy a small object of stunning beauty. We’ve lost a remarkable woman.”