I Hosted My Own Funeral

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Personalized for you

Why you should care

Because you don’t have to wait until you’re dead to be memorialized by your loved ones.

If you were to ask what Scottish crooners Simple Minds, New Orleans rapper August Alsina and Oakland, California–based bon vivant Gerry DeVito have in common, the answer, quite frankly, would be nothing. Except, perhaps, for the deep desire not to be forgotten.

Some time ago, DeVito got it in his head that he wanted to celebrate his life with his longtime partner and friends. The theater aficionado and man about town was feeling grateful for many things and for the many people in his life. He wanted to know for sure that when he died, he would be remembered in a way that fit his personality. Nothing strange about that. Lots of responsible, pragmatic folks plan their final farewells in advance. So DeVito chose the cemetery and the flower arrangements and set the guest list of his nearest and dearest. But then he chose a date. While he was still very much alive.

Watch this original OZY video to see what happened next. Don’t you forget about me. Don’t, don’t, don’t, don’t.

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OZYTrue Story

Good stories from around the globe. Essays and immersion, into the harrowing, the sweet, the surprising -- the human.