Esther Earl dreamed of becoming an author since the third grade. Four years after succumbing to thyroid cancer at the age of 16, her wish is finally coming true.
The Massachusetts teen made headlines in 2010 for her inspirational YouTube videos showing her lying in bed while she discussed her feelings about the disease, which she was diagnosed with at age 12. She even served as inspiration for author John Green's hit 2012 novel "The Fault in Our Stars," which has been adapted to a film debuting this June.
This week her parents released This Star Won't Go Out: The Life and Words of Esther Grace Earl, a book written from Esther's perspective about her struggle with the illness.
The 431-page book contains passages from Esther's diary, e-mails, blogs and videos, chronicling the story of an upbeat and fierce teen coming to terms with her mortality.
Esther became an online celebrity for her determination to fight the disease while trying to maintain a positive attitude in the process.
"When there's grief, it never quite closes. But I do feel a sense of coming full circle," her mother, Lori Earl, tells USA Today about the book.
The memoir is filled with heartbreaking passages following Esther's thoughts about death.
"I do think about dying a lot, but I don't know. I feel like I've finally like, grasped that I'd no longer live on Earth. But I'm working on the actual progress of death and the people missing me part, you know?" she wrote in 2008.
"You know, I have a really great attitude about this cancer thing. I smile, laugh and joke about it. I only have meltdowns like once a month. And I normally only have them in my room – away from people," she wrote in 2007.
As The Daily Mail reports, Esther's parents shared how their daughter woke to say: "I'm going, I'm going," before she died on August 25, 2010.
Their reflections on her death show a touching, profound level of acceptance.
"Her dying appeared to us more like a birth than a death, a kind of willing submission, a sense that her struggle was complete and that it was OK to finish this final battle," they write.