A Nebraska woman wrote her late husband's obituary in hopes to capture his legacy and leave a lasting impact.
Crystal Sauser and Eric Sauser were married for 13 years. The 43-year-old dental technician -- who was dad to Amelia, 11, Violet, 9, and Benjamin, 5 -- died Feb. 26 after a nearly two-year fight with cancer.
Sauser wrote Eric's notice of death, which was published in the local paper and recently shared across Twitter.
"I think his face is so red," Sauser told "Good Morning America" of what Eric would think about the attention. "He's completely embarrassed by me saying things [in the obituary] like, 'He's dead sexy,' but he would be so happy that he wasn't cookie cutter."
Sauser said that one night in 2019, Eric said he had gotten winded after carrying their daughter upstairs to bed. He also was experiencing night sweats. Shortly after, he was diagnosed with leukemia in April that same year.
"We were shocked," Sauser said. "Eric said nothing but, 'Oh well, it's fine. We are going to just deal with this.' So, that was our mantra and that's what we followed."
"He and I are absolutely complete opposites, but the way we managed this was as a team," she added. "We went in with open eyes and said, 'We are going to do what we have to do to fight this.'"
Eric underwent a stem cell transplant, experimental therapy and several other treatments, but the cancer reappeared in April 2020.
"At that point Eric said, 'Enough is enough. I'm putting you guys through way too much,'" Sauser said. "But through the entire journey, Eric was such an amazing guy. He always had a smile on his face ... he was more worried what was going on with everyone else than him."
"I'm sad because I have a broken heart, but I'm not sad because we didn't win our journey," she added. "Eric never wanted pity ... we kind of maintained that in writing the obituary."
Sauser said that after Eric's death, she went to the mortuary to view obituary templates, but none of them were her or Eric's style, and it wouldn't have captured who he was as a person.
I'm sad because I have a broken heart, but I'm not sad because we didn't win our journey.
Sauser then decided she'd write her husband's obit herself.
"Eric A. Sauser, AKA Super Dad, AKA Easy, just a rockin' dude ... passed away peacefully in his sleep on Friday, February 26, 2021, at the age of 43 with his wife by his side," it read. "His departure was just in time for him to make his spiritual appearance at every Red Sox spring game. Eric is survived by his wife, Crystal, and three children, Amelia, Violet and Benjamin, all of whom will likely sleep in the same bed for many years to come (sorry, Eric)."
The obit went on, describing how Eric loved many people. "And there is a good chance he told you that – probably sober, but maybe not," it said.
"Eric loved, in this order, his smoking hot wife, his brilliant kids and family, his many friends, the Boston Red Sox, the Kansas City Chiefs (before being a Chiefs fan was cool), the Huskers, Liverpool Futbol, QT iced tea, Adidas sneakers, fishing, backpacking, hiking, hunting, and any old Chevy he saw on the road."
"We are not positive, but we think the cause of death was either leukemia or more likely being 'dead sexy.' Eric, we've always loved you and miss you already."
Eric's daughter Amelia read the obit at his celebration of life, where a dance party also took place.
Sauser said she received tons of messages from people on social media, many of whom commended her for her strength and ability to grieve through love.
Eric loved, in this order, his smoking hot wife, his brilliant kids and family...
Others said they wish they could've had the chance to party with Eric.
"Some of the coolest things [I read] are, 'This guy's an inspiration' and 'I hope this changes the way obituaries are written today,'" Sauser said.
Sauser said Eric would be surprised by the attention, though she's glad the obituary has touched so many.
"He would be happy that this story is generating inspiration and love," she added. "If there's anything Eric and I can do, it's send some love out there."
Read Eric Sauser's full obituary here.