Life
Man's brutally honest obituary for estranged father helps him heal
It wasn't flattering by any means, but it's helping him heal from his wounded past.
Eduardo Gaskell
08.08.22

Larry Pfaff, Jr., 58, wrote an obituary for his father and it captured everyone’s attention. His late father passed away in June at 81.

He really didn’t have a lot of fond memories so writing proved tough.

YouTube - First Coast News
Source:
YouTube - First Coast News

The piece read:

“Pfaff is survived by his three children, no four. Oops, five children. Well as of 2022 we believe there is one more that we know about, but there could be more. His love was abundant when it came to himself, but for his children it was limited. From a young age, he was a ladies’ man and an abusive alcoholic, solidifying his commitment to both with the path of destruction he left behind, damaging his adult children, and leaving them broken.”

YouTube - First Coast News
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YouTube - First Coast News

His estranged father spent more than two decades working for the New York Police Department, but his career also suffered due to his alcohol addiction.

YouTube - First Coast News
Source:
YouTube - First Coast News

Larry wrote about his father’s hobbies, which included “abusing his first wife.”

“He loved to start projects but never followed through on any of them. He enjoyed the life of a bar fly for many years and had a quaint little living space, studio, above his favorite hole in the wall, the club Nashville,” he wrote.

Pexels - Pixabay
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Pexels - Pixabay

His dad left the family when he was just 9. Pfaff had more children with different women, children he also abandoned. Larry’s father also found his siblings through DNA research.

“He possesses no redeeming qualities for his children, including the ones he knew, and the ‘ones he knew about,’” the obit read.

Pexels - Brett Sayles
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Pexels - Brett Sayles

Larry last saw his father around 30 years ago. But he started writing the obituary just a year ago while his dad was still alive. It was his way of healing and letting go.

His father passed away on June 27.

Pexels - Ellie Burgin
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Pexels - Ellie Burgin

Larry sat on the obituary until his father died, then he hid it for several months. When his half-brother broke the news that their estranged father died, he submitted the obituary to The Times-Union for publication.

His sister, Carolyn Compton, grew up in the same household and confirmed what Larry wrote.

Pexels- Todoran Bogdan
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Pexels- Todoran Bogdan

She says they all experienced a traumatic childhood with no difference or change in their adult years.

“It will be challenging to miss Lawrence Sr. because he was narcissistic,” Larry continued in the obit. “But his death “proves that evil does eventually die and it marks a time of healing, which will allow his children to get the closure they deserve.”

Pexels - Pixabay
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Pexels - Pixabay

Gannett, the company that owns the Times-Union, didn’t exactly like his write-up.

A company spokesperson said that the published obituary did not adhere to guidelines and that they were investigating the matter. But Larry says the “how to submit” obituaries page on the newspaper’s website never mentioned any guidelines.

The website does say the company does “reserve the right to edit, refuse, reject any content before final approval.”

YouTube - First Coast News
Source:
YouTube - First Coast News

Larry warned his family about his writing but there was no negative response. Writing those words meant closure and healing for Larry.

The experience had Larry apologize to his kids. He promised to not be like his father but admitted he was broken, so this path to healing was the change he needed to start.

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By Eduardo Gaskell
hi@sbly.com
Eduardo Gaskell is a contributor at SBLY Media.
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