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Leave ’em Laughing: Finding Humor In The Saddest Situation

There’s no right way or wrong way to grieve. Everybody deals with death in their own way. Some people like to laugh in the face of their own mortality. And there’s something you have to admire about that. Rodney Dangerfield’s headstone reads, “There Goes The Neighborhood,” Merv Griffin’s tombstone says, “I Will Not Be Right Back After This Message” and Mel Blanc’s gravestone gives him the perfect send-off, “That’s All Folks.”

An obituary is usually thought of as solemn summation and commemoration of a deceased person’s life. But why does it have to be so sad? Why not lighten things up a little? We get it, we know you’re upset and mournful over the loss of a loved one. But maybe it would do your heart good to have a little laugh. Here are a few examples of hearty souls who thought of obituaries a little differently and wanted to give those left behind one last reason to smile.

The following are actual excerpts from real obituaries. Some were written by loved ones and some were penned by the deceased themselves.

Emily Philips died on March 25, 2015 at 69 years old and let everyone know exactly how she felt about it.

“It pains me to admit it, but apparently, I have passed away.  Everyone told me it would happen one day but that’s simply not something I wanted to hear, much less experience. Once again, I didn’t get things my way!  That’s been the story of my life all my life…

If you want to, you can look for me in the evening sunset or with the earliest spring daffodils or amongst the flitting and fluttering butterflies. You know I’ll be there in one form or another. 

Of course that will probably comfort some while antagonizing others, but you know me… it’s what I do…

I’ll leave you with this…please don’t cry because I’m gone; instead be happy that I was here. (Or maybe you can cry a little bit. After all, I have passed away).

Today I am happy and I am dancing. Probably naked. Love you forever.”

William Ziegler passed away on July 29, 2016. His children obviously inherited his sense of humor.

“William Ziegler escaped this mortal realm on Friday, July 29, 2016 at the age of 69. We think he did it on purpose to avoid having to make a decision in the pending presidential election.

He leaves behind four children, five grand-children, and the potted meat industry, for which he was an unofficial spokesman until dietary restrictions forced him to eat real food…

Following his wishes, there will not be a service, but well-wishers are encouraged to write a note of farewell on a Schaefer Light beer can and drink it in his honor.

He was never one for sentiment or religiosity, but he wanted you to know that if he owes you a beer, and if you can find him in Heaven, he will gladly allow you to buy him another. He can likely be found forwarding tasteless internet jokes (check your spam folder, but don’t open these at work).

Expect to find an alcoholic dog named Judge passed out at his feet. Unlike previous times, this is not a ploy to avoid creditors or old girlfriends. He assures us that he is gone. He will be greatly missed.”

Mary “Pat” Stocks died on July 1, 2015. Her children passed along her legacy, and a whole lot more.

“Pat Stocks, 94, passed away peacefully at her home in bed July 1, 2015…She left behind a hell of a lot of stuff to her daughter and sons who have no idea what to do with it.  

So if you’re looking for 2 extremely large TV’s from the ’90s, a large ceramic stork (we think) umbrella/cane stand, a toaster oven (slightly used) or even a 2001 Oldsmobile with a spoiler (she loved putting the pedal to the metal), with only 71,000 kilometers and 1,000 tools that we aren’t sure what they’re used for.  

You should wait the appropriate amount of time and get in touch. Tomorrow would be fine….

A private family ‘Celebration of Life’ will be held, in lieu of a service, due to her friends not being able to attend, because they decided to beat her to the Pearly Gates.”

Aaron Purmort passed away on November 25th, 2014 and wrote his own obituary in an unusually heroic way.

“Age 35, died peacefully at home on November 25 after complications from a radioactive spider bite that led to years of crime-fighting and a years long battle with a nefarious criminal named Cancer, who has plagued our society for far too long.  

Civilians will recognize him best as Spider-Man, and thank him for his many years of service protecting our city…

Aaron was a comic book aficionado, a pop-culture encyclopedia and always the most fun person at any party.

He is survived by his parents, Bill and Kim Kuhlmeyer, sisters Erika and Nicole, first wife Gwen Stefani, current wife Nora and their son Ralph, who will grow up to avenge his father’s untimely death.”

Walter George Bruhl Jr. passed away on March 9, 2014 at 81. He had quite a way with words, as he demonstrated in his own obit.

“Walter George Bruhl Jr. of Newark and Dewey Beach DE is a dead person, he is no more, he is bereft of life, he is deceased, he has wrung down the curtain and gone to join the choir invisible, he has expired and gone to meet his maker. His spirit was released from his worn out shell of a body and is now exploring the universe…

He was surrounded by his loving wife of 57 years, Helene Sellers Bruhl, who will now be able to purchase the mink coat which he had always refused her because he believed only minks should wear mink…

Walt was preceded in death by his tonsils and adenoids in 1935, a spinal disc in 1974, a large piece of his thyroid gland in 1988, and his prostate on March 27th, 2000…

There will be no viewing since his wife refuses to honor his request to have him standing in the corner of the room with a glass of Jack Daniels in his hand so that he would appear natural to visitors.

Cremation will take place at the families convenience and his ashes will be kept in an urn until they get tired of having it around. What’s a Grecian Urn? Oh, about 200 drachmas a week.

Everyone who remembers him is asked to celebrate Walt’s life in their own way. Raising a glass of their favorite drink in his memory would be quite appropriate.”

Perhaps laughing in the face of death is simply a way of coping with the devastating reality that we don’t get to live forever. So whether they’re funny or serious, choose your last words carefully. They will be the last thing people remember about you.

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Manopause Team

Manopause Team

An overeducated and underpaid team of writers, researchers and very opinionated men and women of all ages. Venturing into heretofore uncharted online territory, they are dedicated to entertaining, educating, inspiring and uniting men over 50 ...and the people who love them.

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