Funerals are often described as a celebration of life, but one Nova Scotia man wants to plan something more uplifting of his own.

Two months ago on his birthday, 70-year-old Roy Henderson was in the hospital after suffering a heart attack. It was there that his doctor delivered the unexpected news.

“Told us I had pancreatic cancer, that it had already spread to my liver and there was no cure,” says Henderson. “I had months to live, maybe anytime, weeks, days, it could happen at any time.”

After the initial shock of his diagnosis, the Truro resident says he decided he wanted to try to see his old friends one last time. Since he doesn’t like funerals, Henderson says he wanted to have a party instead.

“To say goodbye in a personal way, rather than looking at your picture on the table at the funeral home with some flowers around it or something right,” he says.

Over the years, Henderson has worked as a hospital cook, store owner and has built houses and furniture. He says everyone loves his cooking so he plans to make fish chowder with his son for the celebration.                 

Looking back on his life, Henderson says his only regret is never going skydiving.

“I never made it, so you never know. You might see me coming out of the sky one of these days,” he says with a laugh.

His goodbye party will take place at the Air Force Association on Saturday afternoon. Henderson says everyone is invited, including old friends and even strangers.

With files from CTV Atlantic’s Dan MacIntosh.