Mom paints goodbye to daughter killed in crash

"Our Becca" by Diane Neas at Mayan Buzz Cafe. (Oct. 1, 2015)


GRAND RAPIDS. Mich. (WOOD) — Becca Neas, 23, was killed by a drunk driver in 2007. Because of the nature of the accident, her family wasn’t given a real chance to see her a final time and say goodbye.

That’s when Diane Neas, Becca’s mother, began a painting called “Our Becca.”

“I had sketched it out, started to paint it, couldn’t finish it. So I flipped it against the wall so I didn’t have to look at it. And then after about four years, I flipped it around and it took me another three years to finish it,” Neas said.

The two-dimensional acrylic creation paints the scene of how Neas would have liked to say goodbye to her daughter: Wrapping her in the loving arms of her family.

“I never got to (say goodbye). There was always somebody with me. I was never alone with her,” Neas said.

In some ways, the painting is still not finished.

“If you look really close this is just pencil, because it was just too hard to work on her,” Neas showed 24 Hour News 8.

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Neas entered “Our Becca” into ArtPrize Seven for Becca. It is one of eight pieces on display at the Mayan Buzz Cafe.

Neas said she doesn’t plan on entering the world’s largest art competition again, but is continuing to paint pictures of her daughter. The next one she is working on depicts Becca as an older woman, since Neas will never be able to see that.

Neas said she doesn’t want people to remember the accident that killed her daughter. Instead, she wants people to remember the Becca who was loved and very alive.

She is writing a book and continues to write about her daughter as well as paint. You can see more of her work at her Facebook page.

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