(CNN) – Friends and family gathered in Iowa Saturday to honor 5-year-old Garrett Matthias.
The child passed away earlier this month after battling pediatric cancer. But before he died, he wanted to make sure no one would be sad at his funeral.
Matthias wanted to be a professional boxer, but he was in the ring already. In the fight of his life with cancer at only 5-years-old.
On July 6, Garrett passed away.
Saturday, his family planned the funeral he wanted.
“He wanted people to come together and celebrate because he did not like funerals, he’s been to a few of them and everybody was very somber and sad and he was like no at my funeral is going to be a happy time.”
Garrett didn’t want a typical funeral, he wanted a celebration.
So Saturday at the family’s Van Meter home, Garrett’s wish came true with five bouncy houses, a snow cone machine, and Batman.
“After he was terminally diagnosed, we talked a lot about death.”
His parents, Emilie and Ryan, kept a special log of Garrett’s wishes and used those notes to write his obituary.
One of his unique thoughts, he told them he wanted to become a gorilla when he died.
“Everything he wanted, he got.”
“But you know we are missing Garrett and we would love for him to be here to see all of this stuff.”
Garrett’s daycare, A Child’s Care, provided the five bouncy-houses, a cotton candy machine, face paint, and tattoos.
“So it’s a little bittersweet. We’re so honored that the community helped us put all of this on.”
“He knew that if you had a party instead, everybody’s going to have fun. There might be a few tears shed but it will be a good thing.”
Ryan and Emilie say the attention Garrett’s obituary has received is also bittersweet.
“The more this gets out, the more funding cancer research may get.”
“We’re just hoping that he’s looking down and from his gorilla in his tree and is happy with what he sees.”