Briar Bates knew exactly how she wanted her friends to honor her death, and boy, did they deliver. The 42-year-old artist from Seattle, who was diagnosed with cancer in November of 2016, helped choreograph a moving water ballet routine she personally requested from her friends, and she even gave honest feedback to the dancers to make sure her send-off was perfect.
"It was Briar's gift to us," her friend Carey Christie told the Seatte Times. "It was like her saying, 'I want to spend time with you, but I don't want I'm-sad-you're-dying to be at the top of the list.'" Carey also described Briar as an optimist whose outlook — even while battling cancer — had a profound effect on those who knew her.
"When Briar woke up this time last year, she didn't look in the mirror and think: 'I only have a year left to live,'" Carey shared. "Most of us don't think that. Well, stop postponing joy. Cut that out. Have a great time. Be involved. Be engaged — appreciate your beautiful, awesome body that isn't failing you."
Just a few weeks after Briar's death on June 28, 2017, her loving friends descended upon the wading pool at Volunteer Park and delivered a moving tribute to their dear friend that had nearly 300 onlookers moved to tears. The soundtrack to the routine included "Beyond the Sea" by Bobby Darin, "Happy" by Pharrell Williams, and "Let's Go Crazy" by Prince. Grab a tissue and watch the tear-jerking performance in full above.