Loss of a Child – A Tribute as Art

Watch the story of artist Jeff Maldonado also known as Artist J-Def, aspiring in the music industry. The bullets of a gang member put an end to that dream—his artist father's loss of a child.


Josh Daniels

a year ago | 2 min read

Loss of a Child – A Tribute as Art

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

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.

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.


Created by

Josh Daniels







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