"DEARBORN HILLS--At approximately 11:00 PM on Friday, October 31, Officer Jason Smith, 41, of the Dearborn Hills Police Department was slain by unknown assailants while responding to a potential robbery in progress on West Warren. He was shot once in the head and was pronounced dead at the scene of the crime. A statement released yesterday by Dearborn Hills Police Chief Albert Jansen indicated that Officer Smith was a twelve-year veteran of the force, earning a number of commendations for his service. He was also a member of the Department's Tactical Operations Squad. Public services will be held at 4:00 PM on Monday, November 3, at VFW Post #259 on Telegraph Road. A private funeral will follow the viewing. Services and visitation will be conducted with a closed casket. Officer Smith is survived by..."—Obituary from November 2, 2003 edition of the Detroit Times and Herald.
It is not an easy thing, to look back at your own obituary. Many people have had to read about their own deaths in the newspaper. Most of those folks were doing so while safely tucked away after having faked their death to escape the mafia or the government. A few celebrities have had to read about their own ‘deaths' when some member of the media jumped the gun on rumors of their passing, much to the embarrassment of the respective journalist.
My situation, however, is unique. I got to read my own obituary about fifteen months after I was killed in the line of duty. My death wasn't faked and the obituary wasn't premature in any way. It was quite accurate, at least in recording the time, place and manner of my death.
"...I was a cop, and a damn good one, before I was killed in the line of duty on October 31, 2003. My life hadn't been a bed of roses, but things were just starting to get good again before that night. I had just finished with a nasty divorce where she got almost everything except my balls, but I was looking so forward to actually using them again! I had finally sobered up and was in line for a promotion that would have had me sitting pretty until retirement, maybe ten years down the line..."—January 6, 2005 blog entry.
"Halloween sucks. I can't wait until I get enough seniority to get this night off."
I looked at the taller man as he looked over the duty roster for the night. "Yeah, Morgan, it'll be a few years before your unhappy ass will get there. But, I can tell you one thing for sure."
"What's that, Smith?"
"It's going to be a wild one tonight."
He turned away from the board and looked down at me. "Why do you think that?"
I shrugged my shoulders and shifted my body sideways as I moved to pass him on my way into the dingy little closet we called a lunch room. "It's Halloween. It's a Friday night. And I heard something on the radio on my way in about a rash of robberies over in Detroit. I've just got this feeling that something's coming our way tonight." I eased down onto a creaky metal folding chair and pulled my right leg up to start lacing up that boot.
Morgan turned to follow me, grinned, and shook his head.