Artist Adrienne DeLoe Starts GoFundMe After Tragic Loss

Ryan Lubitz and Adrienne DeLoe.
Ryan Lubitz and Adrienne DeLoe. Courtesy of Adrienne DeLoe
Denver mixed-media artist Adrienne DeLoe, whose self-portrait accompanying a story on pandemic portraits appeared on the cover of Westword two years ago, has created a GoFundMe after suffering a heartbreaking loss when her husband of 21 years, Ryan Lubitz, took his own life on January 14.

"It has been three weeks since I lost my husband Ryan," DeLoe writes. "Time has become irrelevant as I continue to feel like I’m living in a dream that I can’t wake up from. It still doesn’t feel real. Every morning, I stay in bed as long as I possibly can because I don’t want to face another day of this. Everyday tasks seem impossible. I’m proud of myself if I can take a shower and make my bed. If I can make any food to eat for myself, it’s a good day."
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Adrienne DeLoe's pandemic self-portrait.
Adrienne DeLoe
"One of the hardest parts of this is being completely baffled as to why he did this," she continues. "He was happy. There were no signs of depression or anxiety. He never spoke of wanting to hurt himself and never, ever spoke of wanting to die. He finally had a job that he loved. He loved me, I know he did. There were no signs. We agreed on basically everything, had the same values and he was kind. I couldn’t ask for a better partner, we had a good, no great solid marriage. There were no signs. He loved our house and our dogs and riding his Harley. He loved spending time in nature. We loved traveling together and going on adventures. There were no signs. This is the hardest part, I think. It was so sudden, so absolutely outside of his character. I am so confused and completely broken. How could this happen to him, to me, to us? He is my best friend and the love of my life. I have no idea how to even do life without him. We had been together for 21 years, more years of our lives together than apart."

A self-employed artist, DeLoe says that "things are going to be financially tough as I try to sort everything out," she admits, which is why she started the GoFundMe. "Ryan's job was the main source of our income and I have several physical challenges that keep me from working a regular job."

In the spring of 2020, DeLoe started her pandemic portrait project as a way to do something positive during that troubled period, and it wound up going global as art arrived from around the world. "People need to share stories," she said at the time, "to understand that we’re really not alone in this.”

Contribute to her GoFundMe here.
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Emily Ferguson is Westword's Culture Editor, covering Denver's flourishing arts and music scene. Before landing this position, she worked as an editor at local and national political publications and held some odd jobs suited to her odd personality, including selling grilled cheese sandwiches at music festivals and performing with fire. Emily also writes on the arts for the Wall Street Journal and is an oil painter in her free time.
Contact: Emily Ferguson

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