Grieving for a Brother, an Artist, a Man Who Dealt with Inner Demons


(Pat Thurston) I grew up with 5 brothers and 2 sisters. We were a Catholic family. What an amazing life it was. We didn’t have a lot – my dad was a self-employed window washer and my mom was very busy taking care of the lot of us kids. We lived in a 3 bedroom 2 bath house until daddy built an extra bedroom. You can imagine that there was not a lot of quiet in our house unless we were all sleeping.

I was the fourth born, a middle child and lived up to all that involved – causing trouble, giving my parents gray hair, generally being a wild child.

My brother Jim was two years younger than I. Another middle child, the 5th born. His troubles were legendary.

As we grew older, all of us became more responsible and adjusted our priorities, especially when we had children.

Jim…well, Jim had demons. Granted, many of his own making. But he had more to deal with than any of the rest of us. It took time. And it took its toll. Ultimately he overcame, but much damage was already done.

My brother Jim was a kind soul. He had a great deal of love to give, especially to his kids. He was an artist too. He once looked at a block of wood and saw in it the bust of an Indian chief in full headdress. He used a hatchet and carved out all the wood that wasn’t an Indian chief in full headdress. It was truly a marvel. He could paint; he could draw. He loved nature and science. Jimmy embraced learning as much as he could. This was all when he had kept those demons at bay.

We loved him.

The only saving grace of his recent death was that my parents had died before him. I can’t imagine how they would have dealt with the death of one of their beloved children. As a sibling, it’s hard. It’s so damned sad. As a parent, the pain would be unimaginable.

My brother rests now in the arms of God where no demons can ever reach him again.

I love you bro.


KGO Events