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Cancer Patient’s Living Funeral Transforms Into Joyful Celebration Resembling a Birthday Party

Michelle Ng, also known as Mike among her friends, embraced the concept of a living funeral, providing her the opportunity to share meaningful final moments with loved ones amid her battle with cancer since 2021.

Held at her home on December 31 last year, the gathering drew more than 30 attendees and resulted with an intimate and joyful atmosphere reminiscent of a birthday party. The event featured good music, delectable food, and heartfelt expressions of love, serving as a unique celebration of life.

Expressing her perspective on naming the event a living funeral instead of the more common term, celebration of life, Mike shared, “I wanted death to be close to our hearts, and not something to be feared.”

The heartfelt story of Mike was recently shared by HCA Hospice Care, the charity providing support on her journey, on Valentine’s Day. The organization dedicated the occasion to what they described as Mike’s “most profound and final act of love” across its social media platforms.

At 27 in 2021, Mike received a diagnosis of a rare form of ovarian cancer. Before the diagnosis, she enjoyed activities like cycling, running, and managing her own wearables business. By the end of 2022, the cancer had spread to another part of her body.

In 2023, despite efforts, the treatment proved ineffective, leading her to HCA Hospice for support, where the idea of a living funeral was proposed and enthusiastically accepted by Mike.

Attendees were encouraged to write final letters and participate in a book exchange. Rai, a musician from Mike’s favorite local band, Jack & Rai, contributed a live performance to the event.

Mike, who actively participated by singing and clapping along during the live performance, expressed gratitude to her friends, saying,

“Thank you for making me so happy today. Your presence is so, so appreciated. I am grateful to hear every single laughter, to see every single smile.”

Mike passed away on January 2, just over a week after her living funeral.

Source / Photos: HCA Hospice Care