Earlier this month, Robert J. Eleveld wrote an article that appeared in the obituary section of the Grand Rapids Press.
“As I write this notice, I am still with you, although my doctors have informed me that this status will change in the near future,” wrote Eleveld.
In his “obituary” he asked his friends and family to join him for a “celebration of life.”
“I have decided ... to eschew the normal process of others celebrating my life after I die, and instead, would like to celebrate your lives with me,” he wrote. “We’d be honored if you would drop in, say hi, share a glass of red and a laugh ... Please know that the end of my life is the ultimate ‘peanut item’ in comparison to how much I have enjoyed my life with all of you”
Eleveld, a successful attorney and local political figure in the Grand Rapids, Michigan area, gathered with his friends on March 18.
"It was just sort of an outpouring of love for my father in that room," his daughter, Kerry Eleveld, told MLive. "And celebratory in most ways. Of course there were some sentimental moments. But the party, for the most part, was celebratory through and through."
The next day, Eleveld died peacefully in his bed, according to MLive. He was surrounded by family, who were reading loving notes to him left by the attendees of the previous day’s celebration.
“They were quite beautiful, actually,” Kerry Eleveld said.
Kerry Eleveld said his last celebration was the perfect last day.
“For him, I don’t think it was so much about him as it was about bringing people together,” she said.