Sunday, 22 July, 2018

Preschooler writes heartbreaking obituary before dying of rare cancer

Garrett Matthias Before this 5-year-old died of ‘dirty stupid cancer,’ he ‘wrote’ his own obit | The Wichita Eagle
Samantha Long | 14 July, 2018, 02:25

A unique memorial service set for 5-year-old Garrett Matthias of central Iowa is matched only by the one-of-a-kind obituary the preschooler had a hand in authoring and that is now garnering national attention.

Ms Matthias said while they never explained to the little boy that he was dying, they had many conversations around what he would want if he did. "I'm going to have bouncy houses at mine".

Once doctors told the family Garrett's cancer was terminal, they knew they could not put off learning of how their son wanted to be remembered. That included writing Garrett's obituary, which he helped his parents with by answering queries you might see on an "about you" questionnaire.

Garrett then lists some of his favourite things, including superheroes Batman and Thor, his bunny, playing with his sister and Lego. It also lays out what he meant to do once he died.

He also explains where he wants to go after he dies. Garrett would ask where his parents had been and wonder why they came home sad, Emilie said.

"That's him speaking. Those are his words verbatim", Ryan Matthias told WHO.

"When I die", Garrett said, "I am going to be a gorilla and throw poo at Daddy!"

Along with their son's candid answers, Emilie and Ryan Matthias included in Garrett's obituary a heartfelt thank you to everyone who helped their son during his hard battle with cancer.

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Garrett's family said that during the nine months of hell, he never lost his sense of humor and loved to tease doctors and nurses. He wanted to be a professional boxer when he grew up. With his responses, Emilie and Ryan crafted Garrett's obituary after he died on July 6. "Garrett was a very unique individual".

For "things I hate", he noted: "Pants!, dirty stupid cancer, when they access my port, needles and the monkey nose that smells like cherry farts..." "But we had a lot of conversations around, 'When I die, I want to do this'".

That's what he told his parents before he died of stage 4 Alveolar Fusion Negative Rhabdomyosarcoma, a rare form of pediatric cancer, according to the Des Moines Register.

"A private burial of Garrett's ashes will be held at a later time 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", they wrote.

But it's his amusing take on life and death that's getting noticed.

"The reality for Garrett and so many other children is pediatric cancer is an ugly, nasty beast that leaves a path of destruction", they wrote. For Garrett and many others before him - cancer kills.

While undergoing treatment for his cancer, Garrett would prank medics - from using whoopy cushions to "hazing" interns.

See ya later, suckas!

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