Widower hands out 100 love letters in memory of the conversations he had with his late wife

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Sejal Kapadia Pocha

Last Friday, a widower stood in the street in the city centre of Charlotte in North Carolina with his two children and handed out little green envelopes filled with love letters to strangers.

It may sound like a scene from a Meg Ryan film, but this real-life act of kindness has sparked hundreds to share heartfelt messages with their loved ones.

When Hyong Yi, approached the one year anniversary of his wife Catherine Zanga's death, he tried to make sense of his whirlwind year. Zanga died from ovarian cancer on 20 November 2014 after a two-year long battle, leaving behind her husband of 11 years, seven-year-old son Alex and 10-year-old daughter Anna.

"After the funeral, my initial plan was to curl up, stay in bed, and wallow in grief for as long as possible. But having children who need care and are legally required to go to school forces you to get up in the morning. In retrospect, this was probably for the best," he writes in a Facebook post.

"The most difficult, but rewarding, part of the past year has been to try and define a life worthy of Catherine, but without Catherine. What is a life well lived? My conclusion a life filled with love."

He started writing the letters, many of them from actual conversations the couple had during their fifteen years together.

The family: Hyong Yi and Catherine Zanga with their two children

The family: Hyong Yi and Catherine Zanga with their two children

The father's friends convinced him to make the letters public and helped him create a website to showcase them.

News of his hand delivery of letters on Friday went viral and now he's asking others to pick up a pen (or keyboard) and do the same.

"In daily life, we get so busy that we often forget to express our love for one another. We assume our loved ones will always be there. Today, I invite you to take a moment to honor the loves in your life." (sic)

"Let’s remind ourselves what’s most important in life – sharing our love with one another. Please join me in writing a love note or sharing an expression of love (ex – chalk art, post-it note, skywritten note, whatever) with someone you love and share it on social media with the hashtag ‪#‎100LoveNotes‬."

Within a week, hundreds have shared their sentiments for spouses, parents and other loved ones on social media. 

The Love Story of Dearest & Beloved.I didn’t know it at the time, but I went on my last first date of the 20th century...

Posted by 100LoveNotes on Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Take a look at some of Yi's letters below. You can find more at

Love letters 1
Love letters 2
Love letters 3


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Sejal Kapadia Pocha

Sejal Kapadia Pocha covers stories about everything from women’s issues to cult foods. She describes herself as a balance between Hermione and Luna Lovegood.

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