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What my obituary should say

I just read about a man who wrote his own obituary. The Utah man, Val Patterson, wrote it in advance so it would be published when he dies. He used it to set the record straight on a few issues and to bring a smile to the face of his family. When I read the story, I decided that I want to write my own obituary.

If you think about it, it’s a great opportunity that you would be a fool to pass up. People spend large parts of their life (all of high school, for example) trying to influence people’s perception of them. They want to be seen as cool, smart, funny, or successful. The obituary is your best chance to do that, a final way to state your case and take charge of your legacy, to ensure that you will be remembered how you want.

This is particularly helpful because you don’t have to tell the truth. Like with your resume, you can feel free to embellish a few facts if it makes you sound better. No one will call you on it because you’ll fool most people and the few who will know it’s a lie won’t call you on it out of respect for the dead. With that in mind, I decided to write my obituary. Here it is in full, though I may revise it at a later date if I somehow actually end up accomplishing something in my life.

my obitJeremy, the best-selling author and human rights advocate best known for curing cancer, passed away on Friday. His tragic death is the result of an errant champagne cork that was popped at his party when the Atlanta Braves won the World Series, sweeping the Yankees in such an embarrassing fashion that New York is considering disbanding the franchise and not fielding a team next year.

During his lifetime, Jeremy published 26 novels, each of which was a New York Times #1 bestseller and a Pulitzer winner. Oprah Winfrey famously ended her Book Club in 2019, stating that it was pointless because her club would be nothing more than a collection of Jeremy’s books. Thomas Steinbeck, the son of John Steinbeck, once said “if my father was alive, he would admit that he could only hope to become the great writer that Jeremy is.”

When not busy writing, Jeremy was usually traveling around the world, volunteering in humanitarian causes and donating to charity. While at the dedication ceremony for his Children’s Hope Hotel, which put an end to homelessness in Zambia by providing free room and board for the needy, Jeremy accidentally discovered the cure for cancer. “I was just in the right place at the right time,” Jeremy said when receiving the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Tim Tebow.

In an interview for TIME Magazine’s “100 Most Influential People,” actor George Clooney said that he looks up to Jeremy. “The unfortunate thing for Jeremy is that people focus so much on his intelligence, his artistic brilliance, and his philanthropy, that it’s easy to overlook how devastatingly handsome he is,” Clooney said. “I’m kind of jealous, to be honest.”

Though a record-breaking author, a generous giver, and the man who cured cancer, Jeremy has always said that he is proudest of the fact that he has been a good husband and father. Jeremy is survived by his wife, actress Kate Beckinsale, and their two children. His memorial service will be held aboard the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise, with his ashes scattered from an F-14 Tomcat piloted by Tom Cruise, reenacting his role as Maverick in Top Gun.

Okay, it turns out that in the future I will be an arrogant narcissist. Sorry about that.

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