True Confessions

Public confession is all the rage these days. We send our private thoughts in to PostSecret.com to be posted online for all to see. We tell our Facebook friends about every calorie we ate and every mile we ran (or didn't run) in exchange. Some of us even reveal our inner struggles or shameful habits to a nation of viewers on reality TV shows like "Hoarders."

And now, the late Val Patterson may have started a trendy new way to share one’s secrets. Patterson’s self-written obituary, published after his death from throat cancer July 10, 2012, includes a paragraph of shocking (and, in some cases, shockingly funny) confessions.

"As it turns out, I AM the guy who stole the safe from the Motor View Drive Inn back in June, 1971. I could have left that unsaid, but I wanted to get it off my chest."

Also:

"I really am NOT a PhD…"

Read the full story in his obituary: it's unlikely, hilarious and, according to Patterson's widow, completely true. Apparently, the rest of his confessions are, too.

But there's more to Patterson's obituary than true confessions – from start to finish, it's an engaging glimpse into the life of a man we wish we could have known, full of memories of a good life. And it ends with a heartbreaking and candid confession of a single regret:

"My regret is that I felt invincible when young and smoked cigarettes when I knew they were bad for me…"