At 1:58 a.m. on October 6, 2016, Dan Workman walked out of Planet Fitness to take a smoke break from the bench press. As Dan was wont to do, he had exceeded the volume warning on his phone and was listening to “Hopeless Wanderer” at full blast when he was struck and killed by a sweeper truck.
After years of reckless behavior, riding his motorcycle without a helmet, drinking his Honda’s weight in Cuervo Silver, bungee-jumping, sky-diving, forgetting his seatbelt, shooting speedballs directly into his neck, and smoking a pack of menthols a day, he met his death at a young age with unsurprising irony.
Dan did some stupid shit in his life, but he also did some good. Of all of his accomplishments, he was most proud of his two daughters. Dan genuinely loved those little girls more than anything on earth.
Dan’s love of words didn’t qualify him as a Grammar Nazi. That’s a little excessive. He wasn’t a Grammar Westboro Baptist or even a Grammar Scientologist. He preferred the term Grammar Don Juan after breaking up with multiple women because they continuously failed to distinguish “your” from “you’re.” (He could, however, forgive confusions between “except” and “accept.”)
Dan was not an organized or tidy man. He abhorred schedules and was rarely punctual. Nevertheless, before his death Dan was able to find peace with the brutal truth that he would probably never be the type of man to wake promptly at 5:00 a.m. and go for a five-mile run then follow it with a kale juice.
In fact, mere hours prior to his demise Dan had been so arduously contemplating his mortality that he was in fact at complete and utter peace with his life.
He had lived imperfectly. He frequently threw away pairs of shoes because of his forgetfulness in regards to socks and his manly, smelly feet. He often bought new clothes in lieu of doing laundry.
In fact, people at the funeral could be heard saying that they were surprised he hadn’t had a heart attack due to his over-consumption of Red Bull.
These conversations were overpowered by the sounds of splashing water and the blaring music at the celebration of his life. As Dan had so strictly dictated in his Last Will and Testament, his ashes were spread at the Millcreek cliff-diving lagoon in Moab, Utah.
Music was provided by his own “Mow the lawn, Dan” playlist. Yes, he meant to play Breaking Benjamin’s “Until the End” three times.
Despite his travels all over the country, to Canada, to Mexico, to Australia, to Tasmania, to China, and even to Tibet… Moab was his favorite place on earth.
More than anything, Dan wanted those he adored to leave the funeral/BBQ knowing that he truly loved his life. He knew there would be more laughter than tears. Those closest to Dan would chuckle and reminisce about his quirky sense of humor, his magnificent mishaps, and his openness about occasionally farting himself awake or picking his nose while driving.
Dan managed to do something he’d never thought possible and that not enough people are able to experience during this life…
Dan had found his passion and pursued it with everything he had. He wasn’t always successful but he followed his heart and died with his integrity intact.
Dan is survived by his two beautiful and brilliant daughters, Emma and Abbi. His father/guru Dave, his loving mother/landlady Becky, and host of people who mistakenly called themselves fans.
Dan simply called them friends.
Upon reaching heaven, Jesus met Dan with a solid bro-hug and fist bump.
“You got a lot wrong,” He said, “but you sure got one thing right.”
“What’s that?” Dan asked.
“Recovering addicts are totally my peeps.” JC said, smiling.
Dan did not die a rich man, but was wealthy in all the ways that mattered.
Instead of flowers or frills, Dan asked that all money normally spent on funeral services be donated to “The Dan Workman Foundation” to continue his mission of hope.
Rather than an urn, Dan’s ashes were transported to Moab in the body of his guitar and the gas tanks of his friends’ motorcycles.
A humble marker was carved by Dan’s dad in the trunk of a Mesquite tree after the bonfire.
It simply reads:
“Love, Laugh… Look Both Ways.”
(Spoiler Alert: Dan is still alive and relatively well. All of the above is true except for the sweeper truck. But Dan is extremely exhausted [as evidenced by his continued use of the third-person] and thought this age-old writing exercise might help him fall asleep.)