The death of a loved one can have a profound effect on any of us. For the parents of Garrett Matthias, however, it was a difficulty that was beyond words. The young child had been diagnosed with cancer while he was still in the womb and the parents knew that they would eventually have to talk to him about it. What they didn’t realize is that the young child would write his own obituary.
Garrett came to terms with his own mortality as he got older. Although he was living in one of the most difficult situations, he remained positive and even kept a sense of humor. He didn’t like going for his treatments at the hospital but the nurses and doctors would always get a joke. When he left he would always say, ‘See you later, alligator’.
When the cancer was eventually diagnosed as terminal, Garrett’s parents sat down and had a talk with him about it. They chose their words carefully and he was understanding of the situation.
His parents found a list of his favorite things after he died. They also found some special requests for his funeral.
“My favorite color is: Blue….and Red and Black and Green.
“My favorite superhero is: Batman… and Thor.
“When I die: I am going to be a gorilla and throw poo at Daddy!
“Burned or Buried: I want 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.
“Big or Small Funeral: Funerals are sad: I want 5 bouncy houses (because I’m 5), Batman, and snow cones.”
The parents agreed that it would be incredibly sad to have the funeral. They decided that a party should be arranged according to his description. They also wanted his friends to understand more about cancer. Face painting, snow cones, 5 bouncy castles and a Norse burial were all included, just as he requested in his obituary.
A small, private ceremony was held at a different time.
You can see more of this young child’s unique celebration in the following video: