Friday, Nov. 20, 2015, marked one year since Hyong Yi’s wife Catherine passed away from ovarian cancer.
It’s been the hardest year of his life.
“I really would’ve liked to have stayed in bed for an entire year,” Hyong told WCNC. But he didn’t. Having a 10-year-old and a 7-year-old to care for kept him going.
As the anniversary of Catherine’s passing grew closer, Hyong decided that instead of letting it hang like a dark cloud over his head, he was going to do something special to honor her memory.
Each note was numbered and each was different, though all were equally heartfelt. Read in order, the letters are a back-and-forth between Hyong and Catherine that create a timeline of their life together up to, and slightly past, her death.
The first 60 letters give glimpses into Hyong and Catherine’s life together, the 30 after that revolve around Catherine’s two-year battle with cancer, and the last 10 are an imagined conversation between the two after Catherine passed away.
After handing out the notes to strangers, Hyong encouraged them to pass the notes on to special people in their own lives and even gave them a blank card to let them write their own message.
The heartfelt notes are all documented at 100LoveNotes.com.
The site reads like a beautiful book, and little did Hyong know just how many people it would resonate with around the world.
Using the hashtag #100LoveNotes, people are taking time to reflect on their lives and show appreciation to others.
“I’ve received notes from Toronto and I’ve gotten messages from the United Kingdom, Scotland, New Zealand, all over the United States,” Hyong tells me. “It’s been an experience just watching how the internet responds.”
“When I did this, it was not planned as a campaign or a mass movement. I didn’t start this thinking, ‘what can I do to be a viral sensation?’ I did this to honor a woman,” Hyong says.
On days when the world is a bit starved for good news and positivity, #100LoveNotes is a breath of fresh air.
Take a moment to reflect on those around you who make you smile and bring joy to your world and tell them just how much they mean to you. It can be a simple text, a Facebook post, a phone call, or even an old-school letter.
“What I wouldn’t give to have one more minute, even a minute, to talk, hold hands with Catherine,” Hyong says. “I want people to take a minute and reflect on that and take time to acknowledge those important in your life.”
Watch Hyong Yi talk about 100 love notes below and accept his invite to let someone in your life know how much they mean to you.