An Obituary as a Healing Tool
March 19, 2023
In July 2022, this story gained national attention. I personally applauded this man for using the process of writing his father’s obituary as a tool for healing, and many mental health professionals agreed with my view. But there were lots of objections to it — primary from the lay public — because cultural norms seem to dictate that we’re supposed to glorify everyone in death, sugar-coating their life story and re-casting them as literal angels the moment they take their last breath.
Posted online on July 02, 2022 – Published in Florida Times Union
Lawrence H Pfaff Sr. was born in Belmont, NY, on April 16, 1941. He passed away on June 27, 2022, living a long life, much longer than he deserved. He 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.
Lawrence, Sr’s hobbies included abusing his first wife and children. 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.
Lawrence, Sr. did spend over 20 years in the NYPD, but even his time in service was negligent at best. Because of his alcohol addiction, his Commanding Officer took away his gun and badge, replacing them with a broom until he could get his act together.
Lawrence, Sr. did claim to be clean and sober for over thirty years, but never worked any of the twelve steps, including the eighth and ninth steps with his children, making amends. He possesses no redeeming qualities for his children, including the ones he knew, and the “ones he knew about.”
It will be challenging to miss Lawrence, Sr. because he was narcissistic. He was incapable of love. Lawrence, Sr.’s passing proves that evil does eventually die, and it marks a time of healing, which will allow his children to get the closure they deserve. Lawrence, Sr. can be remembered for being a father to many, and a dad to none.