Jenna Rae Tatro almost came into this world in the stairwell of Copley Hospital on August 3rd, 1992. While her mother, Dawn, made it to the hospital room just in time, this first step in the journey of her life showed just how determined Jenna would always be. As a young child, she spent many days playing with close friends from school, showing horses with her mother, or skiing with her father, Greg. In high school she met some of her best friends. Together the group would support each other in their best and their worst times. After high school she and her friend Fiona went on a trip of a lifetime, visiting Turkey, Greece, India, and Dubai.
Jenna loved many things but more than anything she loved people. She loved each and every cousin as they came into her life. Her friendships were made of steel. For many years, she worked with her grandmother Patty and Uncle Alan at their store in Johnson, where her ability to empathize with and bond with people was seen from the cash register to the parking lot. She loved spending time with her Nana, even if it was just to borrow her favorite lipstick or get a favorite meal. Always willing to listen and offer advice, she connected with many people in all walks of life, from wealthy to poor, to men to women, to old to young. Jenna could talk to anyone.
Jenna’s journey, like too many before, changed dramatically when painkillers and opiates were introduced into her life. She became addicted, and made decisions that were incomprehensible and devastating to watch. She spent many nights in rehabs from Massachusetts to California. While she never gave up fighting for her sobriety, her battle was a difficult one. Her final place was the Granite House in New Hampshire, where she found peace in her life, she reconnected with family and friends, found God, and found herself. Had all gone to plan, on February 16thshe would have gotten her 60 days sober chip, an accomplishment she and her family were immensely proud of. This day was not to come, as on February 15th Jenna Rae Tatro died of drug-related causes before she was to return to her place of peace, ready to start her path to 60 days again.
But it is not that final night that truly matters. It is not the destination that counts, but the journey: the lives she touched, the good she did. And Jenna never gave up on her journey—her journey to recovery, her journey as a student, her journey to experience the world and all it had to offer. And, in her short time on this earth, Jenna’s journey was like a rock thrown into a lake: sending ripples ever outward into the future.
Your addiction doesn’t define you. Jenna was a writer, a traveler, a poet, a thinker. She loved animals and music, and her friendships and family ignited the hearth that was her heart. Her addiction was but one chord in the musical performance of her life, a life that was always tuning and re-tuning itself to the tempo of this world. For all that struggle with addiction, Jenna never lost hope. She would always aid people who also were striving for sobriety, telling them to hold on to hope. If you are struggling with addiction right now, she would tell you: there is always hope. Never, ever, give up.
The ripples of Jenna’s journey are still seen today: in every cousin she babysat, or her friends who will live in her honor. Her legacy lives on in her nephew, Eisen, whom she loved more than anything. Ripples can be seen, too,in the people she impacted at the Granite House and the many other rehabs she went to, where her spirit, her determination, and her love left an imprint on those around her. She lives on in her parents, Dawn and Greg, who will continue to fight for her. She is not just one more statistic but a testament to how close one can come to the light, an example of someone who can find peace and reconnect after everything she has been through.
Jenna is survived by her parents Greg and Dawn Tatro, her brother Gregory Tatro, his wife Amy, and their son Eisen. She is also survived by her maternal grandmother Patricia Lehouiller, and aunts and uncles: Gayle Tatro, Alan and Lynn Lehouiller, James and Lia Lehouiller, and their families.
Jenna was predeceased by her grandparents Gerald and Gertrude Tatro and Claude Lehouiller, her uncle Gerry Tatro, and her aunt Gerilyn Tatro.
Visiting hours will be held on Friday February 22, 2019 from 5:00 – 8:00 p.m. at A W Rich Funeral Home – Fairfax Chapel. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Saturday February 23, 2019 at 1:00 p.m. at St. Mary’s Catholic Church, Cambridge. Because the funeral will have limited capacity, we also encourage people to come to the old Saint John’s Catholic Church in Johnson after the service for a reception and to honor Jenna’s journey. Burial will be in the Spring at the convenience of the family in the family lot in Mountain View Cemetery, Waterville. Memorial contributions in Jenna’s memory may be made to the Jenna Tatro Memorial Fund, P.O. Box 339, Jeffersonville, VT 05464, which will be dedicated to addiction programs in Vermont. This fund is yet one more ripple in the lake-- Jenna was extremely passionate about this cause, and the Fund will be used to honor her legacy in the years ahead. If you have your own ‘ripple’ to share with those who loved Jenna, please share your memories by visiting www.awrfh.com.