What Happiness Looks Like: Purvi Shah and Kids & Art
Friday, January 17th, 2014
Purvi Shah lost one of her children to cancer. But today, she shares with us insights about happiness.
Her story is sad. There is no covering up the tragedy that is a child dying. You can’t positive think your way out of that.
Purvi, instead, coped. And she turned her coping and her care giving into something bigger than herself, and bigger even than her child.
In 2008, Purvi founded Kids & Art, an organization that pairs pediatric cancer patients with artists so that they can create art. That’s it. The organization doesn’t advance research or work towards a cure; it serves to help children find moments of happiness in the midst of their illness.
And that is everything.
I met Purvi and learned about Kids & Art when I attended BlogHer PRO last fall. I wanted to share her work, and I thought she might have some heroic words of wisdom to share about finding happiness amidst her grief.
I forgot that parents who lose children are not transformed into heroes or sages.
Despite my ignorance, Purvi graciously agreed to share her story with me. She agreed to talk about happiness, and I sent her the standard email with my interview questions.
It took more than two months for her to respond, and her answers humbled me. She admitted that the questions had taken her somewhere she needed to go but had been avoiding. She closed her email to me with this note:
“I’m finally in a place where I’m ready to stop running away and start facing grief with an open heart.”
I hope you’ll take a few minutes to honor her vulnerability, courage, and generosity of spirit with your time and attention.
Her questions and my answers can be found here-