Wednesday, May 05, 2004

The best eulogy ever

At the memorial service for NFL player turned war hero Pat Tillman, his little brother gave an amazingly frank eulogy:

Tillman's youngest brother, Rich, wore a rumpled white T-shirt, no jacket, no tie, no collar, and immediately swore into the microphone. He hadn't written anything, he said, and with the starkest honesty, he asked mourners to hold their spiritual bromides.

"Pat isn't with God,'' he said. "He's f -- ing dead. He wasn't religious. So thank you for your thoughts, but he's f -- ing dead.''

And with those words from his little brother, Tillman's legend grows ...

The remarks (carried live on ESPN and on a bunch of local stations) shocked a lot of people, but I absolutely love it. None of this "he's in a better place" crap. Pat wasn't religious, so that's it. He didn't believe in an afterlife, so he's dead. Period. Deal with it.

Good stuff.

Whenever we have to go to a funeral or see coverage of funerals on TV, I tell the wife that when my time comes, I don't want any rosy "he was a saint" kind of sendoff. I want honesty at my funeral, dammit.

So here, for those of you who may be asked to speak at my funeral, are some talking points for the service:

• "Ken generally didn't like people. He loved his wife and family, of course, but otherwise there were only a few people he'd really consider to be his friends. You know who you are. But for most of you here today, you probably thought Ken liked you, but he most likely didn't."

• "I think the word that best describes Ken would be 'jackass'."

• "I wouldn't call Ken a 'good man' per se. It's not like he was evil or anything; but he certainly wasn't down serving Thanksgiving dinners at some soup kitchen."

• "Religious? Hardly. If all of that Jesus/afterlife stuff is true, I figure Ken's pretty well f*cked."

• "Should you be sad that Ken's gone? Sure. But everybody dies sometime, so get over it. You'll probably die pretty soon, too."

• "[if Ken dies before 2023] Now, you all know how much Kara loved Ken. She must have if she put up with all his crap for so long. And she'll no doubt miss him. But let's face it, she's still pretty damn hot, and a hell of a catch. So for all you guys who felt robbed when Ken snatched her up, give her a few weeks to get over this, but then go for it. Second chances are rare, man."

• "Ken wanted me to read off the list of accomplishments, traits and acts he was most proud of in his life [read list of accomplishments, traits and acts provided to you at the reading of Ken's will. Please allow 3 - 4 minutes for this reading]."

• "Ken also wanted to expose the hidden secrets, lies, wrongdoings, mistakes, misjudgments and bad things you never knew about him [read list of hidden secrets, lies, wrongdoings, mistakes, misjudgments and bad things provided to you at the reading of Ken's will. Please allow 30 - 45 minutes for this reading]."

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