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Dream Life in Paris

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Larry Yugis 1940-2022

Larry Yugis (1940 -2022)

Oh, Larry! I can’t believe after all that struggle, you died peacefully and contented. As a young man, you were the broken guy who lived in his own world. The reclusive loner who built this massive wall around him and locked out everyone. 

It was impenetrable, your world. Except for a few trusted people who had the privilege to access, who were honored to go past the formidable walls and peep nay gawk at your scars. The few who were at least privy to what demons you fought since when you were 7. 

Somehow, you couldn’t get past the horrors of your orphanage upbringing. Of having no kin or kith. Of wandering through this uncertain maze of existence with no sense of belonging or direction. 

And it was not just one orphanage but five. Five orphanages in which the universe shoved and tossed you to experience firsthand the wretchedness and wickedness of man. 

There, you didn’t just see but endured defilement, abuse of every kind, deprivation, and loneliness. It was the loneliness that nearly killed your spirit, the rage at two people who loved themselves so much to conceive you but didn’t love you enough to keep you. 

At only 20, you sought to escape from the nightmare that was depression. You attempted suicide thrice. But each time, you survived because you were not born to die young. You were born for greatness. And you lived to realize that greatness. 

It began with you staring life in the eye with a straight jaw, punching it hard in the gut, and saying, “Let’s see what more pain you’ve got for me, you big fart!”

Then you buried your head in books.  Not just your head but your eyes and ears, and nose were all stuck in books. You shut yourself from the outside world, refused to see no evil, hear no evil, and smell no evil. Literally. 

So you built this little world of yours filled with books and a few empathetic mortals. Books became the antidote for your pain, an escape route from the trauma of your existence. 

In books, you formed a kinship with other beaten and broken characters clawing their way through life. Their experiences inspired you, challenged you, molded you. It was therapeutic, but you also sought real therapy. You learned the art of forgiveness, of acceptance, and of embracing healing. You choose life. 

You started a successful business. Later, you ventured into advocacy and activism. Because you couldn’t stand the evil that goes on along the corridors of orphanage homes. And foster homes. And the streets. 

You became a voice of reason in a world filled with madness. You exposed the ways society failed to protect its young generation. You pushed for better policies touching on children’s rights. 

You initiated projects that catered to broken and vulnerable children advocated for better treatment and better living conditions. You preached humanity, compassion, and love. You fought for change. 

You found love eventually. Fortunately. And you traversed the wonderful journey of fatherhood. It brought more tears into your life, happy tears. And it gave you a sense of purpose, of responsibility you didn’t know you were capable of. You found fulfillment and a sense of belonging at last. 

You could have been a rich man, Larry. That beautiful villa in the Bahamas overlooking the sea? That McLaren F1 you’ve always admired? Except that half of your fortunes went to charity, to making a difference. You only left what was enough for your progeny to live on. 

But you were a great man who lived a great life, impacted your generation, and raised wonderful children. Children who turned out to be resourceful, responsible citizens of society. 

The world was not kind to you when you came, but you taught it kindness, and now it misses you. Because you left a mark and a void hard to fill. 

And now here lies you, fulfilled and at peace. An old man of 82.  I’m still in awe, Larry. 


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Teri O'halo McMahonn

Teri O'halo McMahonn

Writer & Blogger

I’m just like you. I’ve gone through pain in its various forms. I’ve lived with the pain of neglect and abandonment, watched my baby die in my arms, nursed multiple heartbreaks, and buried all my best friends. Like you, I became numb with every blow life dealt me. That was until I realized talking about these unpleasant life realities is a great coping mechanism. By confronting rather than suppressing my suffering, I was able to heal and find acceptance and closure. I’m not saying it was easy. My resilience and strength were severely tested. And yet, “Still I Rise.” That’s why I can easily relate to your current pain, no matter the tragedy. That’s why I’m here to help you cope with it by talking about it. It’d be an honor to have me tell the world your story.

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I help families bring out the beauty and character of their dear ones by writing obituaries, tributes, eulogies and mini biographies that define their legacy. Obituaries that go beyond the usual bland and dull announcements, capturing the essence of their true selves.

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I help families bring out the beauty and character of their dear ones by writing obituaries, tributes, eulogies and mini biographies that define their legacy. Obituaries that go beyond the usual bland and dull announcements that fail to capture the essence of who those people really were.

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