This boy is everything but an average 5-year-old, so it’s no surprise that the spunky little cancer fighter did not have your average obituary either.
Garrett was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer in September of 2017. And for nine long months, his parents, Ryan and Emilie, grieved the pending loss of their sweet boy.
But Garrett didn’t want it to be sad. In fact, after attending various funerals with his family preceding his death, he didn’t want a funeral at all because everybody seemed so depressing.
That’s when Ryan and Emilie got a brilliant idea. They decided their son’s obituary should be as unique and quirky as Garrett, so they made a written record of many snippets of their conversations with him in the month leading up to his death.
“We’ve cried oceans of tears in the last nine months, but I think this is one of the things we can do to make his day special and not sad,” said Emilie.
After learning his cancer was, in fact, terminal in June, they knew it was time to ensure Garrett was remembered just the way he wanted.
“We never necessarily talked about his funeral, so we never had the conversation with him that he was going to die, but we had a lot of conversations around, ‘When I die, I want to do this,'” Emilie said.
Garrett died on July 6, 2018.
His obituary begins with the boy introducing himself as “Garrett Michael Boofias,” as his last name was too hard for him to pronounce.
In words that were very Garrett-esque, the huge superhero fan with a wild imagination proceeded to say that when he died, he wanted to be burned like ‘Thor,’ and become a gorilla.
Also not a fan of doom-and-gloom funerals, he stated, “Why are funerals so sad? I’m going to have bouncy houses at mine.”
Garrett specifically wanted five bounce houses—one for every year he was alive.
He then listed off some of his favorite people: the “grandparents who live in the new house,” the “grandparents that live in the camper,” and “stinky Uncle Andy.”
“That’s him speaking. Those are his words verbatim,” said Ryan with a grin on his face. “When I read it. I’m just like ‘wow.’ Sounds like Garrett just yapping at me.”
“You know why does it have to be sad?” Emilie added through tears.
“Garrett endured nine months of hell before he lost his battle with cancer,” the obituary continued. “During that time, he never lost his sense of humor and loved to tease the doctors and nurses. From whoopy [sic] cushions and sneaking clothes pins [sic] on their clothes to ‘hazing’ the interns and new staff doctors, he was forever a prankster. Nothing caught people off guard as his response to ‘see ya later alligator.’”
And of course Garrett’s sign-off was as unique as his goofy 5-year-old self: “See ya later, suckas! – The Great Garrett Underpants,” it concluded.
Rather than a funeral, a celebration of life to honor Garrett’s request took place, followed by a symbolic burial like he saw in the movie Thor. Fireworks were held after sunset.