I haven’t put a tremendous amount of thought into it, but I didn’t know you could write your own obituary. That right there is a power move.
Val Patterson, a 59-year-old Utah man, did just that and the results were pretty striking.
Funny, brilliant, touching — with a hint of rebellion, and even some sarcasm, Patterson's obituary reflects the qualities of what his life was: an experience. And now, even though he has passed away, we still have the opportunity to live vicariously through his wild ride.
Most of the space is dedicated to him coming clean.
"As it turns out, I AM the guy who stole the safe from the Motor View Drive Inn back in June, 1971," Taylor read. "I could have left that unsaid, but I wanted to get it off my chest."
It didn't stop there.
"Now to that really mean Park Ranger; after all, it was me that rolled those rocks into your geyser and ruined it. I did notice a few years later that you did get Old Faithful working again."
The hits kept coming. Patterson went on at length to describe his years of debauchery.
"To Disneyland: You can now throw away that "Banned for Life" file you have on me, I'm not a problem anymore — and SeaWorld San Diego, too, if you read this."
In addition to his extra-curricular exploits, Patterson felt the need in his first-person obituary to explain to his family, friends and colleagues that he never actually received a Ph.D from the University of Utah. He says it was a mix-up, and the university sent him the wrong degree. He goes on to admit that he never actually knew what the letters P-H-D stand for.
While I admire his honesty, there is no way I’d knock down the elaborate mountains of lies I’ve used to build myself into a halfway-respectable person upon my death. People would be crushed to know all the stuff I’ve fabricated.