Don't you love an entertaining obituary? I know death is a sad occasion, but when a person's life story makes people giggle just a little, I think it helps friends and family remember the best of the deceased. World War II vet John E. Holden penned his own obit, and it's a joy to read. This guy was feisty to the very end. What kind of man describes his life as "filled with endless laughter and debauchery"? A fun one.
Holden flew a Corsair as a Marine fighter pilot during World War II and was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and Air Medal for action in Okinawa. He's one of our great American heroes from the "Greatest Generation," an elite group whose members we are losing every day. But that scallywag, after mentioning his medals, he has to go and make a joke about also winning the "Fleeing Cross" medal for "avoiding numerous women who were seeking child support under unproven circumstances." What the -- ?!?
That's not the only time Holden hints at his sexual adventures. After mentioning his wife of 61 years, he adds that after her death, he had a number of wives, "none of which were his." Get it, get it? Oh my Lord, you just know that Grandpa John was one of those guys who'd hit the punch at a family gathering and start making those kinds of jokes that make his kids cringe and blush.
He makes a bunch of less colorful jokes in his obituary -- my favorite is that his last words were, "I'm going to miss myself." What a goofball. He clearly refused to take death seriously and get all sober and morose over it. I bet his funeral was filled with hilarious anecdotes about his life told by friends and family. Do you wish all funerals could be like that?
Maybe we should all write our own obituaries. Who else would dare treat it so flippantly? Not that that's what we all want, but it seems like a good idea, if you want to have some control over the tone of your death. I think we all know what kind of tone John Holden wanted.
What kind of obituary do you want written for you?
Image via D. Miller/Flickr