He said he made this stupid decision every day of his life.

By Sam Silverman
Updated February 22, 2019

We all make decisions that we deem not the smartest every now and then. But one man says he made the ultimate stupid decision that cost him his life. Since he's not here to tell the tale, he let his obituary do the talking.

Geoffrey L. Turner wrote his own obituary after being diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer in November. After years of smoking, he died on February 13, 2019.

“I was an idiot who made the same stupid decision, day after day, multiple times per day. I was a smoker and even though I knew it may eventually kill me, I chose to deny the truth to myself,” Turner wrote.

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Instead of a traditional obituary that highlights the accomplishments of one’s life, Turner decided not only to write it himself but to shed light on his "stupid decision" in an effort to help others.

"It was all the truth, but it was extremely self-deprecating,” Turner's daughter Sarah Huiest told the Times Union of the obituary. She said she was surprised to hear that her father didn’t want to be remembered for his success, travels, career, or kindness. “He was taking responsibility,” she said. “Reading it, I don't think I've ever been prouder of him."

Instead of flowers, Turner's obituary encouraged donations to the American Cancer Society or a children's charity.

Lung cancer is the deadliest type of cancer in the United States. Ninety percent of lung cancer cases are a result of smoking, and a smoker's risk of lung cancer increases if they started at a young age or smoke frequently.

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A long-time smoker, Turner quit for a period of time but returned to the habit, Huiest told the Times Union. “The pain and suffering I caused my family was not worth the perceived 'satisfaction' that really did nothing more than waste money, separate me from my family, and eventually destroyed my body," Turner wrote. “At 66 years old, I lived a decent life, but there are so many events and milestones I will not be able to share with my loved ones."

It's never too late to quit smoking. Quitting at any time will lower your chances of eventually developing lung cancer; it can also immediately result in better-smelling breath, whiter teeth, and can even help food taste better. Even after being diagnosed with lung cancer, quitting is still highly encouraged, as it could help treatment work better, according to the American Cancer Society.

"The moral of this story—don't be an idiot," Turner wrote. "If you're a smoker—quit—now—your life depends on it, and those that you love depend upon your life.”

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