To celebrate what would have been my father’s 54th birthday, I created an instagram video for the #whpsentbymail project. My father, Jay Yang or 양재권, passed away from his battle with cancer a little over a year ago.


To feel closer to him on his birthday, I went out to buy him a cake from the Tous Les Jours bakery in Manhattan (Koreatown, for those who haven’t heard of it). The cream cakes are absolutely delicious, not overly sweet and feature some of the cutest decorations. I also picked up some candles and a card on the way home.


After photographing the project, I sat down that evening, lit the candles on the beautiful cake and said a few words alone in my head to myself. It was the first time I’ve done anything of the sort, but I’m thankful that I was inspired to do something at all. Life doesn’t make a lot of sense most of the time, but the first step to healing is acceptance. I don’t think I’ll ever get closure, but this was just one way to help bring myself peace while celebrating his life.


Everyone deals with death differently – I’ve met people who take the time every year to do something that brings them peace. I recently met a woman whose brother passed away from cancer, and she takes a bike ride every year on his birthday to a golf course. She lays on the green, stares up at the sky and talks to him until someone kicks her off the course.

Who knows, maybe next year I’ll take a trip to a golf course. And no, heaven may not have a home address, but I know that he was celebrating with me here in spirit.

Happy Birthday, Dad. I love you and miss you so much.

R.I.P. 양재권 | February 9th, 1960

This video was originally uploaded to my Instagram for the #WHPsentbymail project. Click below to view the video.


  • I’ve just found your blog on travelling terms, but I also have just found your ‘FOR MY FATHER’ category and I have to say just how beautiful it really is. Its very emotional, and heartwarming – and your father would be proud of how much you care about him and how much you have done.
    Continue living in his spirit, your words are wonderful.