Painting of balloons with title on top of it which reads, Did you have to justify your loss?
Painting of balloons with title on top of it which reads, Did you have to justify your loss?

Last week I was invited to speak at Alto Pharmacy hosted by their employee resource group (ERG) as part of July Bereaved Parents Awareness Month. One question that I was asked during the fireside chat has stayed with me -

Have you felt like you had to justify your loss?

Losing a child is a unique pain, some people will understand while some will try to be sympathetic, and some might totally avoid it. One place where I felt I had to justify my loss was when I was looking for work after I had taken time off to become a full time cancer caregiver. How many people add their…

At the clinic

A child walks in -
hunched up, dragging her feet.

Parent follows, overburdened with bags.
A pillar of strength, both- in their own right,
join the families, waiting, waiting for their turn
for their turn to join the elite group of strength & perseverance.
To add one more visit,
one more poke, one more check-up,
to their long list of achievements. …

The journey of a pediatric cancer caregiver

You are sitting, waiting, in a big waiting room
waiting for them to call your child in
Or, waiting for your child to be out of a procedure

You look around at shuffling faces, lost in their thoughts
Some sitting uncomfortably, fidgeting with their iPhones, getting up every time a staff looks at them

I want to go and make a conversation…
But what do I say?
What do I ask?
What can I offer in terms of solace?
What do I share from my experience?

This is one socially awkward place where…

Wayfinding your user interviews with art.

Everyone in design and research knows that there is no way we can get around user interviews. They are an integral part of the design cycle but let’s be honest, it is a tedious process.

How many times have you interviewed your users and felt elated with the rapport and felt like you finally got somewhere? And when you finally get those tough questions answered it feels good to check it off your to-do list and then move on to the next task of transcribing all the interviews.


Transcribing and analyzing interviews is like gold mining…

All art was created at Kids & Art Foundation art experiences

Work-Life balance was a mouthful before COVID and it’s nothing short of a mess while we are living with COVID.

WFH has had its ups and downs and COVID has brought about many different facets for sure.

Empty nesters call it a ‘silver lining’ because they got to have their college kids back home and they are getting to spend some unexpected quality time with them.

Families with little children have found it very difficult to balance work, home schooling, summer camping from home, and balancing personal life with zoom happy hours.

We have heard that pets are very happy…

World Changing Women

They asked us…

whose shoulders are you standing on?

as I looked around a room full of world changing women

in my mind, there should have really been only one answer


and yours,

and yes for someone standing next to me,

mine as well.

But how often do some shoulders feel too high to reach?

How often do we go to conferences and feel nurtured, nourished, elevated, justified and yes… insignificant as well?

I guess it needs to be a little of all of the above…

How often do we hear these perfectly motivating voices to only feel imperfect?

I guess it is needed to move us into action…

They asked me…

whose shoulders are you standing on?

it did not take much probing to think of…

personal self v/s professional self, which one are we liking, sharing, forwarding today?

So there is this rage and upsetness over facebook. People have stopped posting as much as they previously used to. People don’t share as many photos as before. You don’t see people checking in and sharing where they have landed or which airport they are taking off from. Maybe now you do not know where your ex gets his latte from or which park your bestie walks her dog. Oh boy, we are all missing out on the excitement. …

Have we created yet another silo allowing us to make excuses and behave badly?

Title image for What is Design for Good
Title image for What is Design for Good

What is the function of design?

What is the role of a designer?

What is Design for Good?

What is good?

What is bad?

As mentioned on AIGA ‘s website— Design for Good is an ethos to use problem-solving and design thinking towards social change. … Design for Good recognizes the wide range of designers’ work and hands-on leadership and professional development opportunities, which benefit the world, our country, and our communities.

As mentioned on DesignLab 360 — Design for Good is any form of design work that aspires to better someone’s life. Design for Good is inclusive rather than exclusive. To be effective, our work must be timely and responsive, not just to a client deadline but say, to the urgency of a…

I believe in rainbows.

I believe in silver linings.

I believe, everything in life happens for a reason.

As a graphic designer by profession and someone who found refuge in art, I believe that everything can be made beautiful thanks to the quirkiness of art.

I believe that was me before I became who I’m today.

That was me before… I changed.

When people hear about what I do, some say, how do you do it? How do you find the time? How do you work with children who are in pain and are suffering in the hospital? Many say, you are doing god’s work. Keep it up. …

Whenever I’m invited to share the Kids & Art Foundation outside of the pediatric cancer realm, I cannot help but weigh my cancer journey as a caregiver, and my inherent personal loss, with our society’s need for ‘thinking big’.

Purvi Shah

Mother, great listener, writer, artist, Creative Director at Whamix + Founder of Kids & Art, a nonprofit focused on healing pediatric cancer through the Arts.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store