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In Memory

Emma Milkeraitis

Emma Milkeraitis


I feel so lucky. I get to write my own obituary and make my end-of-life decisions. It is fashionable to go kicking and screaming and fighting for every breath. Not me. I choose grace and dignity.

Several components of my heart failed. Many options were suggested to allow for some normalcy for living. Shortly after that I was diagnosed with Stage 4 colon cancer.

How much effort do I expend to live another day? How many of my assets do I give for that day? I saw my future filled with tests, appointments, and procedures. Whether it is 70 or 100 years - we only live for a flicker of time in relation to this earth. I went home and called a travel agency!

I ended up in Alaska because I would never miss an opportunity for adventure. The first time I put on skis was in Switzerland. In Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, a fellow befriended my friend and me. Later in his car we realized he was a militant with explosives in his trunk. After the initial shock, and a few glasses of champagne, we found him to be a very likable and patriotic person.

Although I came from a very conservative background, my travels transformed me into the person I am today. Because of this, in my trust I stipulated that some of the money I leave be used for travel., with Alaska being the first trip. Hopefully traveling will convert all of my beneficiaries into tree huggers like me!

In my travels I have learned:

Greed and power are insatiable.

Don't leave anything undone. If you always wanted to jump out of an airplane or kiss an elephant - DO IT!

Make your end-of-life choices while you are able, with forward vision.

Support the arts in all forms; it is our communication to future generations. Unlike me, the arts will live forever. 

Do noy hang on to life' be remembered for the live you lived rather than as a burden in death.

No regrets and no scooter chair for me!

Published in Alaska Dispatch News from November 10 to Novermber 11, 2012


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12/28/15 07:45 AM #1    

Karen Anderson

Emma was a great friend and fellow Lithuanian. Years ago she made me hand painted Easter eggs which were a tradition in Lithuania. I kept them for over 20 years and treasured them. We first met in the 80's on the pipeline, I think it was PS 2 where she was a technician. She was a grand lady and will be missed.

12/29/15 08:18 AM #2    

Bill Howitt

Wow, what a message to leave for all of us.  Certainly good advice and I'm very glad it was published.

01/12/16 10:01 PM #3    

Vol Williams

Auntie Em was a great friend with whom I had the priveledge to work for many years at PS01. Her sense of humour kept us all in stitches much of the time and made working at PS01 a pleasant experience. She was greatly missed when she left the company. When she passed we posted this self written obituary in the control room for several months.

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