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Loss of a Child – A Tribute as Art

How does one honor the loss of a child?

by M. Cardinal

How does one honor the loss of a child?

When the unexpected child loss of Jeff Abbey Maldonado Jr. occurred the disbelief was paramount. As a result, there was a huge void in Jeff’s life that didn’t seem like it could be filled. His son was the focal point of his life.

Jeff, a 19-year-old multi-talented hip hop artist was just leaving a barbershop when the van he was riding in came under fire by a gang member. Jeff also known as the artist J-Def, was killed on 7/25/2009 just before his first public performance. Someone who had so much potential, only to be needlessly stopped before they could show the world. As a result, only the locals got to know his talent.

“I’d give anything not to do this… This is a symbol of somebody who has passed on,” JeffMaldonado said. “The hardest piece I ever had to make was this installation, because I was really never supposed to make this.”

The tribute

Jeff Maldonado’s father was a professional artist and wanted to honor the loss of a child. With the help of the National Museum of Mexico he installed a room to honor his son, the J-DEFF Peace Project. After that, he used his artistic talent to share his memories of his son with many of the locals, who loved the boy’s music.

Jeff stands contemplating the loss of a child. His actions make him an everyday hero.
Jeff creates a tribute to his lost son

After losing his son, Jeff Maldonado created a memorial for his son. Everyone had to enter and exit the room through the same door. That door symbolized this world and the next world beyond. Above all, it represented the Mexican belief that on November 1st at midnight the deceased children and adults reunite with their relatives and families. The Mexican faith and beliefs are strong in this family. It played a big part in the memorial.

“Day of the Dead is usually a natural progression of the life and death cycle,” Jeff Maldonado remarked. “It’s sort of the honor given to that person after the end of a full life. I wish that my son was able to live a full life, but I could never imagine having to do this.”

“This is an artistic way of dealing with the process of healing and loss, but we’re also trying to work within our own community to change things for the better, which is what he was trying to do.”     

Jeff Maldonado created a music message focus on using 80 gold albums. Along with many words and phrases in his son’s songs. So, he felt that sound vibration effects us. The vibration has a positive effect. As a result, he felt that his son J-Def’s music would help the world and community. Change it for the better.

Honoring the loss of a child

Memorializing the loss of a child. Celebrating his life.
A memorial to what could have been

In conclusion, Jeff Maldonado explained that creating this room to honor the loss of Jeff was the Hardest Piece He Ever Produced. It dealt with human emotion and human connection. This was not art as he knows it. An example of what made so very difficult for him.

Video Production: Rocko Productions
Review Written By: M. Cardinal
Date Written: Feb 27th, 2020

Loss of a Child FAQs

How do you deal with the loss of a child?

The only way to survive bereavement is to step away from it occasionally. Take small steps: After the death and loss of a child it is important to break down the future into small increments, an hour or a day, and deal only with one portion at a time. Focus on tasks — feed the cat, do the laundry.

What do you say to the loss of a child?

– Extending our deepest sympathy to you during this time.
– No amount of words can express the pain that you are going through.
– The love and joy that your child brought to us will never be forgotten.
– Your son/daughter was a true inspiration to everyone around him/her.

What happens when a parent loses a child?

The emotional blow associated with child loss can trigger a wide range of psychological and physiological problems including depression, anxiety, cognitive and physical symptoms linked to stress, marital problems, increased risk for suicide, physical pain, and guilt.

What percent of parents have lost a child?

Of the roughly 2.5 million Americans who are 90 and older, 7 percent — about 175,000 mourning parents — have lost a child since turning 50.

In addition, look for more videos with our artistic heroes:

Intro to everyday heroes – Meet the heroes

Flying Circus – Motivated artists

Mural Art – The walls speak of hope

Good Picture – Worth a thousand words

Flying Circus – Motivated artists

Bright Future – CUSP conference

Prisoner of War – Hope inspired artwork

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