A few months before my husband passed away, we had a special conversation regarding his funeral arrangements. In his written wishes, he already stated that he didn’t want a traditional funeral, instead he wanted a big happy party. He was quite excited about the idea and said that it would be so cool that all his family and friends would come together, hold drinks and talk about his quick wit and the countless cool jokes he had made.
To honor his wish, we decided to host this party on 6/18, our 10 year wedding anniversary. We later realized that the same day was also Father’s Day, so we switched the date to 17th, last Saturday. The preparation for this party started in April. We got a new roof, repaired the pool, put 6 trucks of mulch in the yard and planted a big container garden around the pool and patio. The theme for his party was “Travel Around the World.” So the decorations, eating utensils, food and drinks all followed this theme.
The weather called for 50% rain that day but I knew my man would find a way to avoid it. He loved parties and certainly would not ruin his own. 😉 There were nearly a hundred people who showed up and everyone had a great time. There were 7 people who gave speeches about my man, some from his work, some family, and some life long friends. The speeches had to be my favorite moments… to listen to all the funny stories about my husband. Sometimes I even envy how he had touched so many people’s lives and left such a positive mark.
The success of my husband’s life celebration party was the best gift on our 10th wedding anniversary and felt like medicine to my broken heart. After everyone left my house, I was so tired, but finally felt some relief. I was crying, laughing and talking to my man’s memory book and his ashes. I told him we did it. As promised, we gave him the best celebration party we could. He deserved it.
After several months of dealing with grief, I know I should ask for help when I need it. About a week before our wedding anniversary, I messaged my step-daughter and told her I should not be alone that day.;) That was her first Father’s Day without her dad too so we kind of really needed each other’s company. We had Dim Sum for brunch and Korean BBQ for dinner. We even shared a whole bottle of Korean liquor. 😉
The first wedding anniversary after my man passed away turned out to be a pretty good day and I didn’t even cry. There are choices I have to make every day and I chose to make happy choices, as my man would. I appreciate the wonderful times my man and I shared and I will carry on the positive outlook as long as I can.
Photos credited: Grace Liang/Ashley Alles
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