The letters began arriving months ago at the home of Amy Ettinger and Dan White; at last count, there were more than 500 of them, just from strangers. People were writing to Amy Ettinger, who died last month at age 49 from uncurable uterine cancer. She had written a particularly moving essay, which was published in the Washington Post, about how she was facing the end of her life with no regrets. Her words became a sort of call-to-action to live fully instead of postponing life’s experiences until some unknown future date, which powerfully impacted readers from all over the world. “I’ve always tried to say ‘yes’ to the voice that tells me I should go out and do something now, even when that decision seems wildly impractical,” Ettinger said in the essay. The letters she received in response offered her a comfort she didn’t know she needed. Many people decided to make little or big changes in their lives based on her essay. They moved toward living with her ethos, which she summed up beautifully by saying, “I have never had a bucket list. Instead, I said ‘yes’ to life.”

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