On January 10th, of this year my father passed away early in the morning from a heart attack. I found out at school after leaving my first class that day, around 11:00am. I excused myself from the friends I was with and wandered the halls at UVU for a bit, not sure what my next move should be. Eventually I made my way up to Perry's office, and asked if I could talk to him.
Perry noticed that I was disturbed and asked me what was wrong. I told him what had happened and began to break down a bit, informing him that I had no idea what to do at that point. He told me that I need to go support my mother, and straight away drove me to Berg Mortuary where she was already taking care of the necessary funeral arrangements.
After offering some words of comfort, Perry left us and we dove right into measurements, types of coffins, locations etc, it was all a blur.
Upon returning to her home, I began to go over in my head of what I could do for my dad to help make his viewing more special. I quickly decided that a portrait was a good way to do that, and to have it displayed during the event. I began to look through old photos of his life, from the younger years to the most recent, and was torn on which one I should do. Eventually I realised I would have to do at least four to capture his life more effectively, which also meant I wouldn't have enough time to put into them, because the viewing was in four days.
Using a blue watercolour pencil and brush that Don Seegmiller had introduced to me, I went to work. This is the result.
His life was full of struggle, turmoil alongside happiness, and in the end, triumph. I will never forget his example of service and devotion, and will do my best to uphold his name. To my dad, oute alofa ia te 'oe.
Photos provided by Hamlet Gordillo