I've been planning my funeral for over forty years. I never thought that I would live to be this old. I expected to die when I was young.
I lived recklessly, never considering whether I would survive. That's why I planned my funeral.
Over the years, I've had to change my plans on who the executor of my will would be. First, it was my sister, then Terri, then Mona. Mona and Terri died before I did.
Life has always been cruel to me. Now, my executor is my nephew.
He is the only one alive that I know would honor my wishes. My funeral, as was my life, will be different from any that has ever been seen. I'll be cremated, not buried.
My ashes will be used to fertilize flowers. I want to bring beauty after death.
All my life, I have lived for today. I wanted a wonderful tomorrow but I knew that it wasn't guaranteed. That's why I made the most of every day, why I took chances.
When I die, I will not have regrets, only beautiful memories.
I have done so many things that no one else will ever do. I had a job that I absolutely adored. I never worked a day in my life. I had fun mingling with talented, creative people.
I laughed every day. I made my own schedule.
When I wasn't on the job, I was having fun. I climbed mountains and rocky faces. I camped in the forest and listened to the animals in their habitat.
I've lived among the birds, squirrels, rabbits and deer. I was one with nature.
I partied with anyone that wanted to party. I've gone to parties at the homes of the poor and the super rich. I've shared cocaine with women I can't remember and actors I'll never forget.
Fun was my calling.
I've ridden motorcycles as fast as 140 mph, just as I've putted along at 10 mph. I've had three people on my motorcycle, which wasn't exactly legal, although I never got caught.
I've travelled cross country on a bike.
I've travelled from the Canadian border to the Mexicn border. I've seen the Atlantic ocean, as well as the Pacific.
I've visited seventeen countries and learned enough languages that I could survive no matter where I was.
I've read thousands of books because I have an insatiable desire to know as much as I can.
I studied survival books and lived alone in the mountains with only a knife, a sleeping bag and waterproof matches.
I've played on the beaches all along both coasts. I've slept with so many women, I can't remember them all. I've fallen in love twice and had more women than that fall in love with me.
I was never married, though.
I wanted a wife and three kids (one of each). I wanted a normal life. The sad thing is, I don't know if I could have lived a normal life. I just don't think I could have handled it.
Perhaps women knew what I didn't.
I appeared on television for the first time at age sixteen. Over the years, I was on tv more than 100 times. I did stand up comedy in more than 30 cities.
I appeared as a liberal activist to crowds of 17,000 or more.
I've lived an exciting life. I never worried about where it would take me but, instead, I embraced the journey. I spent time in jail, seeing that even bad men have good qualities.
I saw the good and the bad that life holds.
I think I had no fear of death because I never expected to outlive my youth. I was beaten badly by my dad, the same dad I spent twelve years keeping alive.
He broke my arm, my nose (twice), dislocated my shoulder and left me scarred.
I learned early in my life that hatred was bad. I wanted everyone that saw me to see love. I may not have set a good example for others to follow but I never hurt anyone other than myself.
I drank too much, did too many drugs, and chased too many women. I took risks with my body, my health and my life. I've been injured and healed.
Yet, through everything I've encountered, I kept my attitude alive.
My attitude was simple. If I can't do it, it cant be done. Other people may do it better but I can do anything I want to do. I followed my dreams of being free to do whatever interested me.
I didn't worry about money.
I'm a minimalist by nature. I don't have many possessions. What I do have, I must thank Terri for them. She worried about me constantly. On the other hand, I think she was secretly proud of me.
She saw me as I really was.
I always followed the rule that it was easier to ask for forgiveness than to ask for permission. I never tied myself to the idea that I had to live my life the way that others thought I should.
Right or wrong, I did what I wanted.
After hearing this, I'm certain that you can see why I don't want a funeral like anyone elses. I didn't live their kind of life, therefore, my funeral shouldn't be like theirs, either.
My funeral, like my life, should be fun.
I instructed my nephew that I don't want a church. Churches never played a part in my life. Why should they play a part in my death?
Instead, I want my nephew to rent a banquet hall with a stage. I want a band.
I want my nephew to play my favorite song of all time: "Johhny B. Goode" My nephew has a great talent for the guitar. He could have been the next Jimi Hendrix.
I've seen and met many guitar players. He's the best I've ever seen.
I want my ashes placed in a Folger's coffee can, to represent my humble beginnings.
I want this can to be placed upon a large block of ice that is placed in a huge bowl of Hunch Punch (190 proof alcohol and Hawaiian Punch).
I want rock 'n roll music to be played and I want no sermon. If people want to speak about me, they cannot be sad or maudlin. I spent my life trying to make people happy.
I wanted to hear people laugh.
It would negate my whole life if people were crying because I was dead. I want them to celebrate my spirit. I want them to look at my life as an inspiration for greater things.
A never ending quest for happiness.
If they read anything at my funeral, I hope they hire a comedian to read some of my jokes. My life was exciting and full.
It wasn't the type of life that most people live but I doubt that I could have lived their type of life.
I lived a life where there were endless possibilities. I lived a life full of danger and risk. I lived a life full of love and the hope of making people happy.
I lived a life wishing that I could make everyone laugh and forget their problems.
I've had great friends that supported me, even though I was acting foolishly. They loved me, no matter how stupid I was acting. They never reproached me, or condemned me.
They loved me for who and what I was.
I lived my life the way I saw fit. I never worried about death. Death, after all, is a part of life. When I die, I will embrace it as I did all the risks I took in life.
I'll approach death with hope for happiness.
I guess Groucho Marx said it best when he said, "I'm going to live forever, or die trying." I know I'll die one day. I don't want anyone to cry or mourn for me.
I want them to be happy that I had a chance to live as long as I did.
All my life, I defied the odds.
Let me leave it on my own terms.