An Iowa family grieving the loss of their 5-year-old son after he died from a rare form of cancer helped him write a touching obituary before his death
Garrett Matthias took on his cancer in a unique way and the plucky 5-year-old took the same approach to his death.
The Iowa boy passed away on July 6 but he lives on through his obituary which he wrote with the help of his family.
Garrett suffered from a rare form of cancer and while his parents, Emilie and Ryan, were hopeful he would survive, in June they were told the devastating news that his cancer was terminal.
Determined to help their little boy be remembered as uniquely as he lived, the couple began asking him questions.
These questions now form his touching and hilarious obituary that is even signed off, “See ya later, suckas! – The Great Garrett Underpants.”
Aside from liking to be called “The Great Garrett Underpants,” Garrett loved superheroes, thrash metal and his sister, his tribute reveals.
“The things I love the most: Playing with my sister, my blue bunny, thrash metal, Legos, my daycare friends, Batman and when they put me to sleep before they access my port,” the 5-year-old said.
As for what he hated, “Pants!, dirty stupid cancer, when they access my port, needles, and the monkey nose that smells like cherry farts…I do like the mint monkey nose like at Mayo Radiation and that one guy that helped me build Legos (Randy.)”
Knowing he was sick, Garrett also expressed what he wanted to happen after he died.
“When I die: I am going to be a gorilla and throw poo at Daddy!” Garrett said, adding he hated “Pants!, dirty stupid cancer, when they access my port, needles and the monkey nose that smells like cherry farts.”
Garrett was also open about his funeral, saying “Funerals are sad: I want 5 bouncy houses (because I’m 5), Batman, and snow cones.”
Since he loved Thor so much, he also decided he wanted “to be burned (like when Thor’s Mommy died) and made into a tree so I can live in it when I’m a gorilla.”
Emilie and Ryan will honor their son’s final wishes by hosting a Celebration of Life on July 14 featuring almost all of his requests.
They noted in the obituary that a “Symbolic Asgardian burial ceremony and fireworks will be held just after sunset” with a private burial held at a later date “once his parents figure out how the hell to get his ashes made into a tree and locate a nature preserve, so his tree resides in a protected area.”
The daycare Garrett attended helped the family find five bouncy houses for his celebration of life. It’ll also include snow cones, fireworks and other carnival-themed festivities, according to the Des Moines Register.
A neighbor of the family offered his pond so they could float a small boat while they hired a local archer to shoot a flaming arrow into it for an Asgardian-themed pyre.
Emilie told the newspaper she and her husband spoke to Garrett about death after watching a sad movie.
“I’d say things like, ‘When I die, I want to turn into a star,’” she said. “He’d say, ‘I want to be burned like in Thor and then I want to become a gorilla.”
When it came to writing down his responses to their questionnaire, Emilie said they “really tried to use his words, and the way that he talked.”
“Garrett was a very unique individual,” she added. “What I really didn’t want was for his obituary to be ordinary and to have a really sad funeral. We’ve cried oceans of tears of the last nine months.”
Garrett suffered from stage 4 Alveolar Fusion Negative Rhabdomyosarcoma (ARMS) which is a rare form of cancer that affected Garrett’s temporal bone, cranial nerve and inner ear, according to a GoFundMe created for him. While not always terminal, sadly in Garrett’s case his cancer became resistant to treatment and spread even further.
Despite this his parents said at the end of the touching tribute, Garrett never lost his sense of humor and continued to play pranks on his doctors and nurses, his obituary said.
“From whoopy [sic] cushions and sneaking clothespins on their clothes to ‘hazing’ the interns and new staff doctors, he was forever a prankster,” his parents added. “Nothing caught people off guard as his response to ‘see ya later alligator’: See ya later, suckas! – The Great Garrett Underpants.”