Hyong Yis wife Catherine Zanga died last year after a heartbreaking battle with ovarian cancer. Wanting nothing more than to curl up in bed after suffering such a devastating blow, Yi had to stay strong for his family. With two young children at home, he had to be their rock.
That’s when he decided to do something truly amazing. He came up with a way to commemorate the anniversary of Catherine’s death that would help them move on, and also ensure that she would never be forgotten.
Catherine’s death left a huge hole in her family’s hearts. All three of them felt lost after she was gone.
That’s when Yi decided to draft love letters to express the love he’s had bottled up inside since her death.
After writing 100 notes over the course of a month, he and his children walked around Charlotte, North Carolina, on the anniversary of Catherine’s death and handed the notes to strangers.
He based the content of each note on memories and conversations he and his wife shared over the course of their relationship.
I wanted them to experience how it felt to give this gift, rather than just be spectators, Yi said of getting his little ones involved.
The event prompted a number of Yi’s friends to create a website where the notes could be published online.
The most difficult, rewarding part of the past year has been to try and define a life worthy of Catherine. What is a life well lived? My conclusion: a life filled with love. Catherine taught me this, Yi wrote in a Facebook post.
It was also the culmination of a year-long healing process. “For the last month, I was really looking forward to doing this with my children.”
“People sometimes take loved ones for granted. Be thankful for everyone around you, Yi’s daughter Anna told the media.
According to Yi, “one of the things my wife was most concerned about was being forgotten. Im pretty sure thats not going to happen now.” We couldn’t agree more. As our hearts go out to Yi and his family, there’s no chance that we’ll forget about Catherine. Something tells me that members of this community will hold her in their hearts forever, too.
If you’d like to learn more about this project, head on over to Yi’s website.