He touched us all, some more than others

I was feeling sad this week, thinking about the future. I decided to retake some control over my life and write my own obituary. This is what I want published:


A nation is grieving today after Michael James O’Brien died Friday. We are all poorer for his passing, as he owed many of us money. He is survived by his many friends at the dollar store, a family who worshipped him, and his wife Robin.

Mike grew up in Victoria and Inuvik, and spent his adulthood in Regina and Winnipeg. The prairies held a special place in his heart, as that is where he learned to read.

Mike’s accomplishments are too numerous and fictional to list here. As a journalist, he knew the difference between truth and deception, and rarely let that bother him. As an actor, he made you feel like he was standing right where the director told him to stand; a skill he shared with Olivier, Brando and many puppets. As a radio producer, he boosted television ratings. As a comedy writer, he was tall.

His entire life, Mike followed his personal motto: “That one’s mine, get your own.” He was described as a renaissance man, a humanitarian, and a male caucasian non-secretor.

His hobbies included reading the television listings, translating books that were already in English, and cheering for his beloved Expos. Last year, he finally visited Montreal to watch his team in action, and returned with many tales of driving around in taxis. He enjoyed weekends alone at the cabin, and was always saddened when the cabin owners returned unannounced. He met many new people that way.

All Canadians are encouraged to stay home today as a national day of observance. By Mike’s request, outstanding bills are gratefully declined. Flowers can be donated to local food kitchens.

After lengthy struggles with cancer, diabetes  and a fear of escalators, Mike finally succumbed to a shotgun blast from a jealous husband. He was 92.


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