A beloved New York reporter died today at age 66 — and before he left, he wrote his own moving obituary.
"If you are reading this, that means that I am no longer here," Mark Mooney wrote in his final blog entry. "The prostate cancer finished toying with me on October 6, 2017. I was 66 and glad to be done with the damn disease."
"My wife Barbara Goldberg survives me and I leave greatly in her debt," he continued in the post, titled "My Last Byline." "I got so many more laughs than I gave. And I regret I won't be there to comfort her as she did me in those final foggy hours.
"My daughter Maura and son Paul are better looking and smarter than me, a fact which they often reminded me. I was still working on a retort at the time of this writing. The three of them were my holy trinity."
Mooney was most recently an editor for CNNMoney, but had also worked for ABC News, the New York Daily News, the New York Post and others. He was well-known and respected within New York City's community of reporters and editors — in fact, I for one heard his name before I even met him.
When I left a newspaper job for a website where Mooney worked, no fewer than five of the paper's staffers told me this: "When you get there, find Mark Mooney. He'll take care of you." They were right, and he did. I was grateful to have him as an editor.
Mooney had been writing about his cancer battle on a blog called "Closing in on -30-" since last fall, after his doctor told him he had two years to live. (The "-30-" represents an old-school newspaper tactic used to indicate the end of an article.)
He wrote about finding a "guy" to get medical marijuana, trying reiki to ease his pain, and what it felt like to tell his two grown children that he was dying, his "only real dread."
In his final post, Mooney asked that friends and families donate to a favorite cause in lieu of flowers. Or, he wrote — and it was easy to picture Mooney saying this last line himself — "just buy a round."