I Cried All The Way Home – 5-Year Old Boy Gets His Christmas Wish And Dies In Santa’s Arms

Christmas should never be for mourning or saying goodbyes but some life journeys unfortunately end during the season.

Eric Schmitt-Matzen, a professionally trained Santa, shares his experience with a 5-year old boy who died in his arms.

According to him, this was the height of all the heartbreaking moments he had ever witnessed in his lifetime.

Eric Schmitt-Matzen, is a Knoxville, Tennessee man, who has the typical Santa Clause look. The elderly man grows and bleaches his beards to have the traditional white beards of Santa.

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He obtained a professional training to be able to play Santa Clause, every child’s best friend at Christmas.

On a certain day, he got a call from a nurse in a hospital requesting him to urgently come over to the hospital. She told him there was a little boy who was critically ill and wanted to see Santa.

On getting there he saw the 5-year old boy’s mum. She gave Santa a gift for the dying boy. Already sensing the emotional atmosphere, Eric requested family members to stay out of the room if they could not handle it.

“She’d bought a toy from (the TV show) PAW Patrol and wanted me to give it to him. I sized up the situation and told everyone, ‘If you think you’re going to lose it, please leave the room. If I see you crying, I’ll break down and can’t do my job.'”

The family co-operated with him and chose to look through the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) window.

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“When I walked in, he was laying there, so weak it looked like he was ready to fall asleep. I sat down on his bed and asked, ‘Say, what’s this I hear about you’re gonna miss Christmas? There’s no way you can miss Christmas! Why, you’re my Number One elf!’

“He looked up and said, ‘I am?’ I said, ‘Sure!’

“I gave him the present. He was so weak he could barely open the wrapping paper. When he saw what was inside, he flashed a big smile and laid his head back down.

‘”They say I’m gonna die’, he told me. ‘How can I tell when I get to where I’m going?’

“I said, ‘Can you do me a big favor?’ He said, ‘Sure!’

“When you get there, you tell ’em you’re Santa’s Number One elf, and I know they’ll let you in.

“He said, ‘They will?’

“I said, ‘Sure!’

“He kinda sat up and gave me a big hug and asked one more question: ‘Santa, can you help me?’

“I wrapped my arms around him. Before I could say anything, he died right there. I let him stay, just kept hugging and holding on to him.

Eric Schmitt-Matzen was heartbroken beyond his imagination. He cried home that day and was de-stabilized for weeks. Somehow he managed to brave the effect of the experience on him.

“When I saw all those children laughing, it brought me back into the fold. It made me realize the role I have to play.”