A cancer patient from High Wycombe opts for the party over the funeral

Linda dressed as a spitfire

A woman who chose to host a party rather than arrange a funeral because she had terminal cancer said it was "the best night of her life.".

High Wycombe resident Linda Williams, 76, said she preferred to "dance the night away" with her friends because she "hates funerals.".

She began planning the party a year after receiving a terminal cancer diagnosis.

The former Tai Chi instructor said, "I had a blast.

Because funerals are such miserable events, she said, "I've never been to a good one. I decided I wanted a celebration of my life.".

"I had a cardboard cut-out made just in case because I almost passed away two weeks prior, but I was still able to attend with all of my friends. ".

the cardboard cut-out
For her party, Linda planned for a cardboard cutout to be made in case she passed away before it.

Her parents were both RAF members, and Ms. Williams grew up close to their base in Walters Ash, where she frequently saw Spitfires flying over her home.

When she was diagnosed, she started making a bucket list, and flying in a Spitfire was at the top of the list. She described it as "completely crazy, fantastic, and more than I ever wished for," with her son flying a chaser plane in the rear.

Linda and her friends
Before Linda's spitfire flight, she was with her friends.

The following event was a party with a 1940s theme that took place in October and included six performances, a raffle, a union jack cake, and spam sandwiches.

The Battle of Britain served as the inspiration for her party's theme, which she said felt appropriate given that the 1940s were all about banding together under difficult circumstances and making sacrifices to preserve your freedom.

She appeared to have just jumped out of the plane as she wore a parachute tied to her back and a spitfire pilot costume. To enter the party, the 124 guests had to use the code word enigma.

Linda in spitfire outfit
Linda claims to enjoy the sound of the spitfire's engine.

Ms. Williams' health began to decline, though, and she almost missed the important event.

"I came very close to passing away just before it, but I told myself, 'I'm going to flipping well get there. Everyone had an incredible time, so I just went for it," she said.

Linda at the party
After her party, Linda had to rest for two days because she had expended so much energy dancing.

"I arrived at the venue at 6 p.m., but the game didn't start until half seven. Even though my legs were swollen, I was still able to dance all night and enjoy many lovely cuddles," she remarked.

I was on an adrenaline high when I left at one in the morning, and I slept for almost two days afterwards. ".

Ms. Williams expressed her appreciation for her friends' work in planning the party. At a Lindy Hop dance class she started going to when she was 69 years old, she met many of them.

Linda and Jo
Jo (right) and Linda (left) both expressed gratitude for their assistance in planning the party.

Jo Oxlade, one of them, said it was wonderful to be a part of organizing such a special celebration.

Linda made it very clear to us right away that this party would go on regardless of her presence, the witness said.

We had very clear instructions because she stated, "If I'm there on the night, I want this song, but if I've passed away, I want a different song.

"We are fortunate to have her as a friend because she is such an amazing and inspirational person. ".

Linda and her friends
The 1940s are Linda and her friends' favorite era.

Ms. Williams made the decision to have nurses from the nonprofit Rennie Groves Hospice Care care for her at home a few months ago after declaring she had "had enough of hospitals.".

Ms. Williams attributes her ability to make it to the party to the "wonderful" nurses who kept her alive.

She continued, "They saved my life on that particular occasion, allowing me to attend my own party honoring friendship, camaraderie, and the joy of dance.

Senior hospice at home nurse Fiona O'Neill said of Lin: "She made sure she pulled through and made it to her party. Lin is such a fighter. She is a real pleasure to care for and always finds the good in life.

. "

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