A US lawyer who placed an obituary notice about his friend as an April Fools' Day joke has admitted it was an "immature mistake".
Peter Segall, a public relations executive and lawyer, placed the notice about former US ambassador Edward Gabriel in the Washington Post.
The gushing tribute appeared with a photograph of Mr Gabriel who was US ambassador to Morocco from 1997 to 2001.
"Though I no longer have you as my partner, this day will always be OUR anniversary... I could never quit you," the ad read.
Mr Segall, who has since paid for a retraction in the newspaper, described himself as a mature man who made an immature mistake.
"I engaged in a very stupid and ultimately cruel April Fools' joke against a man that has been my best friend for 30 years, and I deeply, deeply regret it," he told the Washington Post.
Mr Gabriel said he fielded calls all day from friends who thought he had died. One woman told him she spent two hours crying after seeing the ad.
"He's an old friend who plays jokes on me every year, and some are hilarious, but they've been private," he said.
"He's a good friend who went a little too far. He's apologised profusely, and I've accepted it, but not without being a little hurt. I think - I know - he had no ill intent."