In a single year, Jay lost his mother, stepfather, and his brother. He’s been an artist as long as he can remember and has manage to find a kind of peace through his creative endeavors. He ended up creating a series of paintings that express certain parts of his grief journey.
My younger brother.
October of 2016, my mother had passed away. 12 days later, my stepdad passed away also. Not too long after that, my brother had passed away also. Within a year, I lost all three of them.
I've been an artist all my life. I've documented just about every phase of my life that I was going through. When all this happened, I was kind of immobilized, I kind of couldn't do anything.
It was about six or seven weeks after my stepdad had passed away, I started doing art again. I needed to.
I got myself into a frenzy for days of just drawing and then it transferred into paintings and larger pieces. They were basically conversations with my mother and brother, and step-dad. I was trying to heal myself. Probably saved my life.
Eventually, I realized after a couple of years that I had to stop the series. I had to stop dwelling on the death of my three family members, and I had to move on.
The paintings documented a piece of my life, that was probably one of the most emotional, heart wrenching places I've ever been. It makes me feel better about the situation of loss.
I can be surrounded by these paintings and know that I honored my mother and brother and my step-dad.