Loving, empathetic, kind, prideful, smart
JP was the type of person who always took care of the ones he loved and would give his last dime if he thought it would help someone else. He was compassionate and generous, always making sure his pets and loved ones were cared for. Even when he had little money, he would take his sisters to lunch to show them he loved them. Many of his friends will attest to his kind heart, recalling times JP helped them when they needed it. He loved playing guitar, both electric and acoustic, and he was skilled at playing the piano as well.
He spent most of his adult life working in restaurants and was a talented cook. He hoped to one day be an accomplished chef and created delicious sauces, soups, and his trademark crab cakes. One of his favorite family traditions was when his family would plan and cook a delicious meal together. On all the holidays, they hosted elaborate feasts to enjoy. After his passing, his mother compiled his recipes into a cookbook in his honor. Another tradition his family had was going skiing together every year. This developed from the love of snowboarding he gained when he and his friends or family would spend every weekend in the winter out on the slopes.
As JP grew up, he became less of the shy and sensitive child his family knew and more of a gregarious person. He struggled with anxiety and depression as a young adult and never found the right treatment, which led him to self-medicating. The suicide death of a good friend and his parents’ divorce affected him in ways that caused him to turn to substances including opiates and alcohol. Later in his life, he battled health issues, caused or exacerbated by his substance use disorder (SUD). In his passing, he left behind his partner and their beloved dogs, all of whom he loved very much.
His mother says that his extreme pride and inability to be vulnerable, along with his fear of going to treatment and withdrawals, trapped him in a place of hiding his SUD. She is now much more compassionate towards those with the disease of addiction. She recognizes that our medical and legal systems lack proper training and the capability to offer the support people struggling with addiction need. Since JP’s passing, Jenny has trained to become a certiﬁed Community Reinforcement and Family Training clinician to help individuals with SUD access treatment.
Jenny tries every day to remember the good times that she had with JP and to carry on his qualities of empathy, love, and generosity. She will always miss his hugs and him calling to check up on her and tell her about his day.
JP’s mother, Jenny Howell, provided the Information for this narrative.
January 10, 1990–May 22, 2019-Age 29
Portrait Artist: Shawn Faust
Narrative Writer: Victoria Estes