Celebrating the Life of Joshua Quesada
On the evening of Sunday, September 19, 2021, those of us blessed to know and love Josh Quesada gathered at Hovander Homestead Park in Ferndale WA to shower the soul of the deeply loved man with kind words, gratitude, and much-needed laughter. It had been 15 months since cancer had taken Josh from us and I'd been carrying a vision for his celebration in my mind since not long after he passed. It was such a creative relief to finally bring to life and share with his loved ones the image of masculine warmth + swank that I felt reflected who Josh was and what he appreciated in life. Together we celebrated one of our favorite humans with his favorite beer from Boundary Bay Brewery, wine and bubbly from Josh Cellars, and a charcuterie grazing table featuring all of his favorites that would have had him drooling unapologetically. An epic ceremony featured speeches by Josh's wife Jen and his dearest friends that left guests hanging on every word, a live performance by a friend of the song I Can See Clearly Now by Johnny Nash (requested by Josh) followed later by an original song inspired by Josh that came to life just a few days before the celebration, a wildly enthusiastic reading by friends of the children's book An Awesome Book of Love by Dallas Clayton (also a request of Josh's), a three-minute comedy reel of his notoriously hilarious Snapchat videos (which brought down the house) and a heartwrenching slideshow of photos featuring Josh with his family set to four meaningful songs he requested be used in this way. The love for Josh that filled the space that night was deep, genuine, palpable, and utterly beautiful, and so is my gratitude for the opportunity to play this role for my friend.
On the morning of the first Friday in February 2020, my dear friend Josh and I met at one of his favorite breakfast haunts in Fairhaven. Having been diagnosed with metastatic colon cancer in December of 2017, we knew his time on Earth was limited and we hoped to make First Friday breakfast a regular thing for as long as we could. I very much regret not having come up with this idea sooner because by the first Friday in March, Covid-19 had made its way to Washington and it became unsafe for Josh to venture into the community. Although I expected that we would have the opportunity to meet again, I knew I needed to cherish every second with him and I did...I was fully and completely absorbed in the warmth of his presence.
Somewhere in the midst of our conversation we were discussing my work with Epic Memorials and Josh softly asked if I would be responsible for planning his celebration of life when it inevitably became necessary. "Of course. I wouldn't have it any other way," I responded. Acknowledging that this would eventually be a reality was too much for either of us to delve any further so we moved onto other topics, thinking we could discuss this in more detail in the future. Unfortunately the opportunity to do so disintegrated as the world shut down and social distancing became the norm. This was the last time my friend and I would be in each other's presence without a window or screens between us. I do recall hugging him like it might never happen again- just wanting to infuse as much of my adoration for him into his cancer-ridden body as I possibly could before he dashed off to tend to one of his kids who needed him at home. Josh passed away at home in the presence of his wife Jen and their five gorgeous children on June 18, 2020, while the world was scrambling to contain a global pandemic that made it impossible to celebrate his life in a timely manner.
With Covid restrictions on events lifted, we finally have the opportunity to gather and celebrate the life of this beautiful, charming, talented and absolutely hilarious man. Jen and I are teaming up to create the memorial celebration that Josh deserves and that we all need as we have been forced to process our tremendous loss in seclusion for too long. What a joy it will be to gather together for one evening to express our love and gratitude for Josh's short but deeply impactful presence in our world.
Please join us on the evening of Sunday, September 19th, 2021 at the group picnic shelter in Hovander Homestead Park, a location chosen for its significance in the life of Josh and his family. Bring your stories, your favorite memories, your toasts to Josh and your loving support for Jen, Grace, Samantha, Jakob, Lili and Luci. Finally, we gather to celebrate the life of Joshua Abraham Quesada.
Doors open at 6:15pm
Ceremony begins at 7:00
If you have photos of Josh you would like to share with his loved ones, please email them to firstname.lastname@example.org
Hovander Homestead Park
5299 Nielsen Avenue
Ferndale . WA
We will be hosting Josh's Celebration of Life under the group picnic shelter in Hovander Homestead Park in Ferndale, WA. Look for the signs that will direct you to the appropriate parking area. This is an evening event in an open-air venue so please consider the predicted temperature and dress accordingly. Please plan to wear a face mask if you are not vaccinated against Covid-19.