CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - When a Charlotte artist could not find the words, painting helped him process his grief.
"It's really cathartic to create from destruction," Mike Wirth says.
Wirth says the last nine days, words just would not do.
"I didn't want to get up and say something dumb because I was feeling irrational, and my heart and my head were not aligned" he says. "So this is how I knew how."
An hour and a half of brush-to-canvas are captured in a time lapse Wirth recorded.
The result shows a memorial to his second cousin, Meadow Pollack. The 18-year-old was killed in the Parkland School shooting.
"She was sassy but sweet, she knew what she wanted in life," Wirth says.
Wirth traveled to Florida to mourn with his family. But in the days since, he has watched on TV as his cousin, Meadow's dad, finds strength, and a voice.
"We should've had one school shooting, and fixed it," Andrew Pollack said at the White House. "And I'm pissed. It's my daughter I'm not going to see again."
"I'm proud of my cousin Andrew," Wirth says. "He's getting on TV, and he's pouring his guts out."
Wirth says the loss has given him a new perspective.
"I have a certain political view, and my family members have political views," he says. "And this just nullifies it all, it just doesn't matter at that point, it's just the fact that Meadow's dead."
For now, Wirth is using art to unite, but, he is inspired by his family and activism happening across the nation. He is starting to also use his voice, hoping no other family loses a loved one, like this.
"I really hope this is it, because I don't know what it's going to take to cause the change," he says.