Believe it or Not: Things you need to know about Stacey Nagy, Now-Famous Obituary Writer.
Facts about Stacey Nagy, Now-Famous Obituary Writer:
David Nagy, a 79-year-old man who died after contracting COVID-19, is posthumously famous after someone on Twitter posted an obituary that his wife, Stacey Nagy, published in their local paper, the Jefferson Jimplecute.
Stacey Nagy cleared up any confusion that the obituary was a hoax, writing in a tweet, “Nagy was real and he was my husband. I wrote the obituary in our small town of Jefferson, TX newspaper Jefferson Jimplecute July 30 edition.”
That obituary, in which she wished karma on those refusing to follow mask guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and also blamed Trump and Texas Governor Greg Abbott for her husband’s death, has now gone viral.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. The Obituary Nagy Wrote for Her Husband Was a Scathing Critique of Politicians & Those Refusing to Follow CDC Guidelines
Nagy started our her husband’s obituary in a fairly traditional fashion, announcing that his death from coronavirus took place on July 22, 2020, at an intensive care unit in their local hospital. She also wrote that he spent much of his life in California and had come to Texas as a retiree.
Nagy then went on to describe herself as “inconsolable” and mentioned that he left five children — Heath, Stephanie, Heather, David and Vikki — behind along with grandchildren and other relatives.
Then, Nagy ripped into those refusing to wear masks as well as politicians she blamed for mishandling the pandemic:
Family members believe David’s death was needless. They blame his death and the deaths of all other innocent people, on Trump, Abbott and all other politicians who did not take this pandemic seriously and were more concerned with their popularity and votes than lives.
Also to blame are the many ignorant, self-centered and selfish people who refused to follow the advice of the medical professionals, believing their ‘right’ not to wear a mask was more important than killing innocent people.
A statement issued by the family declared that Dave did everything he was supposed to do, but you did not.
Nagy ended the obituary, “Shame on all of you, and may Karma find you all!”
2. Nagy’s Husband Contracted COVID-19 After a Fall That Landed Him in the Hospital & Then a Nursing Home
Nagy told BuzzFeed News that her husband had fallen in March and after time in the hospital had been recovering in a nursing home. Nagy said her husband had several preexisting conditions, “including diabetes, heart problems and early signs of dementia,” that put him in the category of people most at risk of becoming seriously ill from the disease. So even though he wanted to go home, he stayed in the nursing home due to his vulnerability to the virus sweeping the country.
After his facility underwent a lockdown, the couple was forced to stay physically apart and had to yell through a window to talk and send kisses to one another through the glass, BuzzFeed News reported.
Still, somehow, her husband became ill with COVID-19. Despite Remdesivir, plasma and ventilator treatments, David Nagy died.
Stacey Nagy, who was forced to tell her husband goodbye through glass while he was unconscious, told Snopes that she hopes the obituary will keep her husband alive in some ways. “I miss my husband dearly. I’m taking one day at a time to just try to keep going. When I wrote that thing it was because of him. I don’t want his death just to disappear. I wrote that and partially, it keeps him alive for me.”
3. Nagy Said Mask-Wearing Shouldn’t Be Political
Since the obituary went viral via Twitter, Nagy has given interviews explaining why she chose to excoriate politicians and those not following CDC guidelines in her husband’s obituary.
“We were married for 20 years and now I’m not with him,” she told BuzzFeed. “It’s just been devastating for me. It pisses me off because he didn’t need to die. Had people been following the recommendations, things would have been different. But people don’t.”
Nagy said his death, and the fact that neither she nor the couple’s children were able to visit him, made her sad and angry. “I was super pissed because it didn’t have to happen and every time I think about it I get angry and cry,” she told BuzzFeed. “People running around not wearing masks when they should, people making masks a political thing when it isn’t. It’s life and death. It’s not political. It’s about people.”
Nagy said she was furious that her husband died from the disease.
“It gets me so angry that people aren’t taking this seriously,” Nagy told Snopes in a phone interview. “The people who are dying are the older people especially — a lot of younger people are dying too — but it’s almost like they’re saying, ‘Who cares about the older people?’ I’ve been with my husband for 20 years and all of a sudden he’s gone. People should know how this makes others feel.”
4. Others Have Written Obituaries Blaming Trump & Other Politicians for Their Loved Ones’ COVID-19-Related Deaths
Nagy’s obituary is not the only one written by an angry surviving family member blaming politicians for the coronavirus-related deaths of loved ones.
Fiana Tulip published an obituary about her mother, a respiratory therapist named Isabelle Papadimitriou, who died from coronavirus. As part of her obituary, Tulip wrote:
Her undeserving death is due to the carelessness of the politicians who continue to hedge their bets on the lives of healthcare workers through a lack of leadership, through a refusal to acknowledge the severity of this crisis, and through an inability and unwillingness to give clear and decisive direction on how to minimize the risks of the coronavirus. Her death could have been prevented.
Isabelle’s son and daughter are channeling their grief and anger into driving home the severity and realness of COVID-19 so fewer families are forced to endure this nightmare. They ask you to honor Isabelle’s life by wearing a mask, remaining socially distant, washing your hands and staying inside as much as you can for yourself, for others, and especially for our healthcare heroes.
Kristin Urquiza also wrote an obituary blaming her father Mark Urquiza’s death from coronavirus on local politicians:
His death is due to the carelessness of the politicians who continue to jeopardize the health of brown bodies through a clear lack of leadership, refusal to acknowledge the severity of this crisis, and inability and unwillingness to give clear and decisive direction on how to minimize risk.
5. #HonestObits Has Become a National Call
An organization called Marked By Covid has been calling for others to share an #HonestObit to shame politicians into responding differently to the virus. In fact, Mark Urquiza is considered “The first covid #HonestObituary,” according to the site, which ran the obituary in its entirety.
Some have applauded obituary writers for using their voice to call out politicians they feel should be doing more on the pandemic, while others have said they believe obituaries are inappropriate places for political statements.
The Marked By Covid team, run by founder Kristin Urquiza, press coordinator Christine Keeves and developer/fundraiser Nicole Stratton, created an Instagram page where they describe people whose coronavirus-related deaths, they say, could have been avoided. For example, one post describes the death of Maryland’s Norberto de Guzman, an essential worker who fought the disease for more than five weeks. “His unnecessary death is due to cavalier politicians who push aside the advice of health experts and put their communities at risk,” the team wrote. “Noberto should still be with us today.”
The organization highlighted the obituary Stacey Nagy wrote on August 3.