Learning with loss: an obituary

Hello wandering hearts.

I was handed some hard news over the weekend and I’m working to understand my emotions surrounding this.

I found out Sunday morning that my biological father had passed away Saturday night from a heart attack.

Now before I get too far into this I have to say that I was blessed to have a Dad who not only stepped up when my bio father didn’t but my Dad adopted me and gave me his last name to make sure the rest of the world knew I was his. With that said – my bio father was a functioning drug addict all of my life. He made terrible self-centered choices that hurt my loved ones and myself (because that’s what addiction does).

I’m sad for my sister, who was closer to him, and is feeling his loss harder than I am. I’m sad for my 10 year old self who once upon a time used to wish this man I knew nothing about would come rescue me when I was angry with my parents. And I’m sad because I still wished to the day he died that he would figure out that his kids want him around.

As I process all my emotions I realized that he probably won’t have a decent obituary so if you’ll bare with my raw emotions and my truthfulness about who he was I’d like to share with you his obituary that I’ve written.

Love & Light


Harry Jerome Sarnowski Jr.


Harry Jerome Sarnowski Jr (Jerry) passed away suddenly on October 21, 2017 in Everett, Washington. Jerry was born November 7th, 1964 to Suzanne (Brandt) and Harry Jerome Sarnowski Sr in Los Angeles, California. He was the eldest of three boys.

Jerry married his first wife, Karen, in 1983. The following year his first daughter Ally was born. They divorced a few years later. In 1988 Jerry married his second wife, Jolene, and the next year they had their daughter, Sarah.

Jerry loved to fish. He also liked to spend time with friends.

He is survived by his daughters, wife, 2 brothers, 2 step brothers and 1 step sister, his father and step mother. He was proceeded in death by his mother.

There will not be a service however he will be remember by his family and friends.


2 thoughts on “Learning with loss: an obituary

  1. My name is Monique and I was friends with your dad,Harry (Jerry). I’m not sure if you are aware but most of his friends called him “Shaggy”,or “Shag”. I recently was trying to find him because I had moved to Oregon back in ’06 and list touch with him. He shared some personal details with me a few times, as he didn’t do that with many people. He has told me about you and your sister, and to be honest,I personally think he was ashamed of his lack of ability to be a supportive farther who could provide what his family needed in him therefore he drowned himself in drugs. One thing about your dad was that he cared a lot about other people and went out of his way to make sure his friends were safe and secure as he knew many people who lived on the streets and were homeless or involved in not the safest of situations. Just know that he did love you, and was usually a man of few words, but definitely expressed to me how much he loved the family he created that he felt he wasn’t equipped to care for. I’m very sorry for your loss, I also wish I would’ve found him before he died as he was in the same city I am in. Do you know what he was doing when he passed, was fe previously sick? I will keep you inn my prayers and just know that you never left his most private thoughts! Good bless! Monique Cooper

    • Monique – Thank you for your condolences. I was aware of his nickname but it wasn’t one I called him. I’m glad he cared for someone but unfortunately the people who needed him to care were left wanting. Even after I told him he was a grandfather nothing changed. (Sorry, there’s a bit of frustration on my part when it comes to him.)
      He wasn’t sick. He had a heart attack due to drug overdose. I’m sorry you weren’t able to reconnect with him. And I’m glad you have good memories of him.

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