Dad with terminal cancer writes superhero obituary to help his son
Thirty-five-year-old Aaron Purmort lost his three-year battle with brain cancer and died this week on Nov. 25, 2014. Purmort was still a young man, a husband and a father. He used his signature humor to write a personalized obituary before his death to help his young son understand.
Purmort and his wife were the parents of one toddler, Ralph. Purmort's wife Nora catalogued his journey on her blog My Husband's Tumor after the devoted Minneapolis dad was diagnosed with a glioblastoma in 2011. The blog's tagline reads, "It's not a cancer story, it's a love story. With some cancer."
After fighting the aggressive brain tumor for three years, Purmort and his wife sat down together to pen a lighthearted obituary near the end of his life. Purmort masterminded a unique obituary that compared him to Spiderman with cancer as the evil villain that ultimately defeated him. Nora says that almost 2-year-old Ralph now associates his father with Spiderman after his passing.
Nora recalls, "Before [he] died, we had time to sit down and write his obituary. I've never laughed and cried more in one sitting, but I'm so glad we got to do this. I love this man so damn much."
Purmort's self-written obituary was published in the Minneapolis Star Tribune after his death. It read:
"Purmort, Aaron Joseph age 35, died peacefully at home on November 25 after complications from a radioactive spider bite that led to years of crime-fighting and a years long battle with a nefarious criminal named Cancer, who has plagued our society for far too long. Civilians will recognize him best as Spider-Man, and thank him for his many years of service protecting our city. His family knew him only as a kind and mild-mannered Art Director, a designer of websites and t-shirts, and concert posters who always had the right cardigan and the right thing to say (even if it was wildly inappropriate)."
The obituary concluded with more tongue-in-cheek humor and a call for Purmort's young son to avenge him, "He is survived by his parents Bill and Kim Kuhlmeyer, father Mark Purmort (Patricia, Autumn, Aly), sisters Erika and Nicole, first wife Gwen Stefani, current wife Nora and their son Ralph, who will grow up to avenge his father's untimely death."
In such a tragic story like this, where a son will never get to know his father, it's hard to find beauty in the passing. It's hard to think about how lucky Purmort's son would have been to grow up with such an attentive and funny father and how that opportunity is now lost. But one thing is for sure — Purmort did what he set out to do. His son will never doubt how much he was loved.