Rita Wilson wanted a party if she’d died of breast cancer


Rita Wilson was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2015. She went public with her diagnosis and treatment soon after she underwent a double mastectomy and reconstruction surgery. Fortunately, her treatment has been successful and she is able to focus on her music career, which, I won’t lie, I really didn’t know much about. But Rita’s fourth studio album, Halfway to Home, comes out today. The album’s first single is Throw Me a Party and the inspiration comes from a place not many may have guessed: it was what she asked of her husband, Tom Hanks, if things didn’t go as well as they did:

Four years ago when I was diagnosed with breast cancer, I had so many different thoughts. You’re scared, anxious, you think about your own mortality. So I had a serious discussion with my husband that if anything happens, I wanted him to be super sad for a very long time 😊 and I’d also like a party, a celebration. Out of that story, I wrote ‘Throw Me a Party’ with @lizrose0606 and @kristianbush —3 DAYS until my new album #halfwaytohome is released. #throwmeparty #music #singer #songwriter

So, this is a weird confession (but it’s Friday and apparently, I’m opening up on everything today) my husband and I talk about what we want to happen if we die all the time. That mostly comes from me. I’m not actually that morbid of a person, I’m a planner and I don’t want to die without knowing that I answered everyone’s questions before I go. But I recognize it’s different for Rita because she was faced with a real possibility of death. It probably took a lot more for her to convince her partner of 30+ years to host a fiesta in the wake of losing his wife. Obviously, the best part of this story is that Rita was not taken from us by breast cancer and can tell this story. It seems natural that this experience would make its way into her music. I’m sure it was therapeutic for her, but it has the added bonus of putting breast cancer awareness back out there, which I’ll bet factored into Rita’s decision to release this as her first single.

Knowing what we do now about the song, give it a listen. It’s a pretty song and I think I would have felt wistful about it anyway, but given this context, I teared up a little bit. I’m glad Rita’s okay and that Tom doesn’t have to plan that party just yet.



Photo credit: WENN Photos, YouTube and Instagram

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15 Responses to “Rita Wilson wanted a party if she’d died of breast cancer”

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  1. ItsJustBlanche says:

    I just love him so by association, her too. I’m glad she’s okay.

  2. Nikki says:

    I renamed my kids as beneficiaries of an IRA so if I die first, wifey number two can’t twirl my hubby around her pinkie and leave my kids high and dry. You can’t believe the number of widowers I’ve seen go crazy for a younger gal and basically cut their own kids out. That’s way more important to me than an Irish wake, though that’d be nice…

    • Kebbie says:

      Especially men that have been married for a long time. They seem to be lost without their wives and desperate to find someone to fill that spot again.

  3. Victoria says:

    Awe I like that idea actually, remembering the good times and party. I just want cake

  4. Mabs A'Mabbin says:

    Our family has had too many funerals so I’ve asked them NOT to pay thousands to those funeral grifters. They’re to have a party, laugh, drink ritas, and then they can scatter my ashes when science is done with me.

  5. savu says:

    My grandma just turned 90, she’s the oldest of six and there are only three of them left. Her sister just died and they’re doing NOTHING. They adored her, but they grew up during the great depression and to them everything is “well get on with it”. We’ve made it very clear, that’s not gonna happen when you die – big funeral, memorial, whatever! As much as I like to think all the people I love could celebrate my life, funerals (or whatever you want after death) aren’t about you. They’re about allowing everyone else to grieve.

    I’m 26 and I’m the only person about my age I know with a will and power of attorney. It’s no more than one page – says I wouldn’t like to be kept alive artificially, my mom is in charge of making decisions if I can’t do it myself. I’m in charge of making those decisions for her actually, not my dad. We both know he’s too soft and couldn’t pull the plug even though it’s what we want. It also lays out what I’d like to happen with my two most prized possessions: my fur baby and my jewelry. It says my bf is to get my beloved cat, but we have cats that live with him so if they deem it better then she can go with my brother, and they get life insurance money to care for her. All my jewelry is sentimental to me, my best friend is tasked with dividing it up between the people I love. What if, you know?!

  6. Scarlet Vixen says:

    My mum always said she wanted a party, to not to spend a long time suffering, and to be cremated (NO funeral). She was only in the hospital 6 days before she passed almost 3 years ago, so we didn’t get to have the party with her. But, a few weeks after her death we had a party at a pub with a whole bunch of friends and family. We brought her ashes and set them on the end of the bar–Right next to her much-treasured life-sized cardboard cutout of James Dean.

  7. JennyJenny says:

    I am currently living with Stage 4 Inflammatory Breast Cancer.
    It is a rare cancer, and of all the breast cancer’s, the most deadly.

    My Living Will has all of the party plans already laid out ; Mexican food, margaritas and bottles of my favorite champagne.
    Guests are to come and be prepared to just tell funny stories and memories of our times together.

    Then my ashes will be scattered in a few exotic locations by my son!

    • juliebox says:

      JennyJenny – that sounds like such a wonderful celebration of your life for your loved ones, especially your son. I’m sending you positive thoughts and virtual hugs and wishing you the best in your journey.

    • Nicegirl says:

      Best to you, JennyJenny. ❤️

    • HelloIsThereAnybodyOutThere says:

      Best of luck, JennyJenny. I have something similar in my will regarding ashes- I put that I wanted my husband to take my son to several places around the world we had traveled to that were special and held good memories for us, from before our son was born. Fortunately the biopsy I had was negative, and I hope they and your son are not tasked with that for a long, long time.

    • chitowngal says:

      I am sorry this is happening to you. I wish you the best of luck, XO.

  8. Wow says:

    When my mom died she wanted a celebration of her life. My mother in law threw one hell of a party for her. She even fixed my moms wig that the funeral home just plopped on her head and redid her make up for the viewing because the funeral home put white foundation and powder on her.

    My brother and I were in zero condition to be throwing a disco themed party for our mother who died suddenly. I am always very grateful that she was there and just did everything. The party was exactly what we needed. The experience made us focus on her life and not her death.