Obituary writing can be a sad and draining process, as it's difficult to sum up everything a person was in just a few paragraphs. How is one supposed to summarize a legacy? Or describe the pain of a family? Or list all the memories shared?
One Quincy, Massachusetts family decided to try to capture the essence of departed loved one in the best way possible.
Father-of-three Chris Connors wanted to be remembered — by everyone.
Connors passed away after battling ALS and pancreatic cancer. But before he departed, he had one last request.
"'I just want you to make it 'funny' were his instructions," his wife, Emily told SeacoastOnline. "So we had champagne and we had an obituary-writing party."
It must have been one hell of a party, because the following obituary was viewed so many times that the original site hosting it crashed due to traffic.
Irishman Dies from Stubbornness, Whiskey
Chris Connors died at age 67 after trying to box his bikini-clad hospice nurse just moments earlier. Ladies man, game slayer, and outlaw Connors told his last inappropriate joke on December 9th, 2016, that which cannot be printed here. Anyone else fighting ALS and stage 4 pancreatic cancer would have gone quietly into the night, but Connors was stark naked drinking Veuve in a house full of friends and family as Al Green played from the speakers. The way he died is just like he lived: he wrote his own rules, he fought authority and he paved his own way. And if you said he couldn't do it, he would make sure he could.
Most people thought he was crazy for swimming in the ocean in January; for being a skinny Irish Golden Gloves boxer from Quincy, Massachusetts; for dressing up as a priest and then proceeding to get into a fight at a Jewish deli. Many gawked at his start of a career on Wall Street without a financial background - but instead with an intelligent, impish smile, love for the spoken word, irreverent sense of humor, and stunning blue eyes that could make anyone fall in love with him.
As much as people knew hanging out with him would end in a night in jail or a killer screwdriver hangover, he was the type of man that people would drive 16 hours at the drop of a dime to come see. He lived 1000 years in the 67 calendar years we had with him because he attacked life; he grabbed it by the lapels, kissed it, and swung it back onto the dance floor. At the age of 26 he planned to circumnavigate the world - instead, he ended up spending 40 hours on a life raft off the coast of Panama. In 1974, he founded the Quincy Rugby Club. In his thirties, he sustained a knife wound after saving a woman from being mugged in New York City. He didn't slow down: at age 64, he climbed to the base camp of Mount Everest. Throughout his life, he was an accomplished hunter and birth control device tester (with some failures, notably Caitlin Connors, 33; Chris Connors, 11; and Liam Connors, 8).
He was a rare combination of someone who had a love of life and a firm understanding of what was important - the simplicity of living a life with those you love. Although he threw some of the most memorable parties during the greater half of a century, he would trade it all for a night in front of the fire with his family in Maine. His acute awareness of the importance of a life lived with the ones you love over any material possession was only handicapped by his territorial attachment to the remote control of his Sonos music.
Chris enjoyed cross dressing, a well-made fire, and mashed potatoes with lots of butter. His regrets were few, but include eating a rotisserie hot dog from an unmemorable convenience store in the summer of 1986.
Of all the people he touched, both willing and unwilling, his most proud achievement in life was marrying his wife Emily Ayer Connors who supported him in all his glory during his heyday, and lovingly supported him physically during their last days together.
Absolut vodka and Simply Orange companies are devastated by the loss of Connors. A "Celebration of Life" will be held during Happy Hour (4 pm) at York Harbor Inn on Monday, December 19th.
In lieu of flowers, please pay open bar tab or donate to Connors' water safety fund at www.thechrisconnorsfund.com
Perhaps we should all live life like Connors did.
Notable sections include mentions of his lifelong career as "a birth control device tester" with some "notable exceptions" (his children), his "territorial attachment to the remote control of his Sonos music," and the devastation that Absolut vodka and Simply Orange will experience in his absence.
And the stories are all true, Connors' daughter Caitlin insists. "We picked the top five or six stories. There are so many more."
If nothing else, Connors' obituary is quite a legacy to leave behind.
The hilarious obituary has helped raise $10,000 for Connors' charity.
May he rest in peace (with a strong drink in hand). (h/t someecards)