When we think of birthday parties, we might imagine bright coloured streamers, cake and lots of fun and games.
But when one man arrived at a celebration to mark his 33rd year of living, this was not what greeted him.
Instead Eli McCann found himself walking into his very own funeral.
His boyfriend Skylar Westerdahl (who is now his husband) had come up with the quirky idea to throw him a funeral because he felt that people shouldn’t have to die in order for their friends to say why they loved them.
Skylar decorated a friend’s house for the occasion, creating a fake casket made out of an ironing board and pillows.
He also hung up photos of Eli around the place and arranged for all of the guests to dress in black.
To make things even more realistic, Skylar also instructed people to ignore Eli during the ‘funeral’ as if he were actually dead.
This left Eli to pretend he was a ghost, secretly watching over the proceedings.
The lawyer, who lives in Salt Lake City, Utah, said that his partner’s creativity left him “speechless”.
Speaking to MirrorOnline, he recalled the bizarre day in 2017, saying: “He told me we were going to a nice dinner so we needed to dress up.
“Twenty minutes later we arrived at a friend’s house where I could see that all the windows were blacked out with curtains, which I thought was odd. He said we needed to stop inside and say hello so I got out of the car.
“As soon as we walked in I saw about 15 of my friends all dressed in black sitting in the chairs pretending to softly cry.
“My husband immediately took a seat and a friend in priestly attire stood and welcomed everyone to my funeral. They all pretended they couldn’t see or hear me through the entire service.”
“After I realized they were ignoring me, I just sat on one of the chairs and watched the service. It was so charming and funny and morbid and I loved every second of it.”
The funeral service lasted for about 30 minutes and featured a slideshow of photos set to the Bette Midler classic, Wind Beneath My Wings.
There was also a reading of an obituary written by his colleague, Meg Walter and his mother had helped make a programme.
Following the service, there was a regular party where people stopped pretending they couldn’t see Eli.
“It was so perfect,” he said.
“My husband is always thoughtful like this. Last year he surprised me with skydiving on my birthday (which was absolutely terrifying).
“He has created elaborate scavenger hunts all over our city for Christmas gifts.”
He added: “He’s creative and delightful and I honestly can’t believe I ever got so lucky to meet him.”