JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Even before the death of his father last month, a Jacksonville man decided to write what he said is a brutally honest obituary about him. After his death, he published it in the Florida Times-Union newspaper.
The obituary, which amounts to a celebration of his death, starts off the way tributes are typically written, but quickly takes a turn.
“[My father] was born in Belmont, NY, on April 16, 1941. He passed away on June 27, 2022, living a long life, much longer than he deserved. He is survived by his three children, no four. Oops, five children,” the obituary reads. “His love was abundant when it came to himself, but for his children it was limited.”
News4JAX spoke to the man who said he wrote the obituary and asked him why he decided to write it the way he did.
“I’ve gotten to a point in my life where I did a lot of soul searching and trying to heal and get better you know, because of all of the abuse that I had throughout my childhood and then even as adults being, you know, neglected or having anything to do with me,” the son told News4JAX. “And so part of my healing process about a year ago was to write his obituary, and I wrote it. And after I was done, I was really proud of it.”
The man said he had not spoken to his father in 25 years and posting the obituary after his half-brother told him his father had died last month helped bring him closure.
The obituary continues: “From a young age, he was a ladies’ man and an abusive alcoholic, solidifying his commitment to both with the path of destruction he left behind, damaging his adult children, and leaving them broken.”
The obituary goes on to say his father spent over 20 years as a police officer in New York and his time there was “negligent at best.”
“Because of his alcohol addiction, his Commanding Officer took away his gun and badge, replacing them with a broom until he could get his act together,” it reads.
The obituary notes that his father claimed to be sober for 30 years, but added he never tried to make amends with his children.
The obituary published on Saturday closes with a strong statement.
“It will be challenging to miss [the father] because he was narcissistic,” it reads. “He was incapable of love. [The father’s] passing proves that evil does eventually die, and it marks a time of healing, which will allow his children to get the closure they deserve. [The father] can be remembered for being a father to many, and a dad to none.”
The Jacksonville man said he stands by his decision to be critical of his dead father even if some might say what he did was wrong.
“I don’t know any of the good things, right. So, I posted truth as my vision,” he said. “I tried to state it as professionally as I could, but I really needed to get out that this man damaged not only my life but my sister’s lives. And then he abandoned the other children that he fathered.”
The man said he’s been searching online all week for other obituaries about his father that may be more flattering but has not found any.
“We could sit there and say a person was good, right? But if we really don’t have anything to back that up, then what are we really doing? Why do we need to lie that he was good?” he said. “I don’t have any resentment about posting it. I don’t have any resentment that he’s gone. I had that loss 30-something years ago, and I finally now get to put it to rest.”