Euel Eugene “Gene” McElhaney
January 8, 1941 – Dec 26, 2014

My dad died the day after Christmas 2014. He was one of the best men I have ever known.

A portrait of my father

Last week, without much forethought, I started a portrait of my dad. Somehow, it seems very appropriate to honor him in this way.

There were times while working on this painting that I felt especially sad and present with a deep sense of loss.

Portrait of my dad - in progress

Portrait of my dad – unfinished (in progress)

Over New Years my family and I were in California for the funeral and to be with family.

At the funeral I gave a eulogy, which, as I said, “was easy and natural for me to honor my dad in this way because I’ve been bragging about him for my whole life.”

My dad was a man of integrity and a man of faith. He and my mom were married for 53 years. He adored my mom and was obviously affectionate with her. I am blessed to have parents that cared so much for one another, and that cared so much me and my sisters.

My son Ryan showing my dad how to solve a Rubic's Cube

My son Ryan showing my dad how to solve a Rubic’s Cube

People grieve in different ways

I miss my dad. A lot. But I don’t have any regrets. He loved me, and respected me as a man. He was proud of me and he didn’t withhold his love. I loved him, and he knew it.

Even so, I never really broke down and cried during my stay in California. Maybe I was being strong for my mom. Maybe I was keeping myself busy with making arrangements.

I know that people grieve in different ways.


My Mom and Dad at the Biltmore House – May 2013

I hope to finish this portrait soon.

After it’s done I’ll include a picture of the finished portrait in a subsequent post.

I guess this is a way of grieving. This is my way of saying ‘goodbye.’

See new artwork and get “backstage” access to my creative process.
Pretty sure you'll love what you see! And your privacy is 100% guaranteed.

This article has 3 comments

  1. Tricia hudick Reply

    Hello cousin, you are making a beautiful tribute to your father. I understand the emotions you are going thru, it has been just a little over a year since my father has been gone. Sometimes I smile, sometimes I cry. But most of all I cherish the wonderful times we had over the past few years that he lived with me. You have a lifetime of wonderful memories to cherish. And remember it is ok to cry sometimes

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *