Derrick Miller, a Canadian technical writer and blogger, published a self-obituary just before passing away on Tuesday.
A victim of cancer, Miller knew that his time was near, and so wrote his own obituary on his blog in a post titled “The Last Post” (here’s the cached version if the page isn’t loading due to a deluge of traffic). Equal parts moving and uplifting, the man starts out the post almost tragically, writing “Here it is. I’m dead, and this is my last post to my blog. In advance, I asked that once my body finally shut down from the punishments of my cancer, then my family and friends publish this prepared message I wrote—the first part of the process of turning this from an active website to an archive,” obviously well aware of the situation he’s confronting.
I haven’t gone to a better place, or a worse one. I haven’t gone anyplace, because Derek doesn’t exist anymore. As soon as my body stopped functioning, and the neurons in my brain ceased firing, I made a remarkable transformation: from a living organism to a corpse, like a flower or a mouse that didn’t make it through a particularly frosty night. The evidence is clear that once I died, it was over.
So I was unafraid of death—of the moment itself—and of what came afterwards, which was (and is) nothing. As I did all along, I remained somewhat afraid of the process of dying, of increasing weakness and fatigue, of pain, of becoming less and less of myself as I got there. I was lucky that my mental faculties were mostly unaffected over the months and years before the end, and there was no sign of cancer in my brain—as far as I or anyone else knew…
Miller goes on to reminisce about the time in his life before he knew he had cancer, and bids farewell to his wife and two daughters. He ends the post on an incredibly sad, albiet positive, note.
Miller died in Burnaby, British Columbia. He was 41 years old.