It can be incredibly stressful for surviving family members as they try to cram a life’s worth of achievements into only a few paragraphs. You desperately want to write something that does the deceased justice, while also telling the story of their life to relative strangers. When the family of Walter Harris opened the newspaper to the obituary section, they were stunned to read his...because they hadn't written it yet.
He went ahead and did it himself before he passed away! Fearing that people took their lives way too seriously, Harris wanted to make his loved ones smile by crafting his own obituary for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Harris was very much a man that did things his own way, and it showed with such highlights as, “Walt was born in the backseat of a Greyhound bus rollin’ down Highway 41,” and “his infectious personality led to a city-wide quarantine.” Harris even planned to use a picture of Brad Pitt for his obituary, however, the newspaper wouldn’t allow it. With only two of Harris’s closest friends in on the joke, his family was caught by surprise.