A Roadmap of his life: Shadow Box Memorial for Dad

Claudia from New York created a shadowbox memorial for Keith and his family, to help memorialize his father who passed from COVID-19. 

Claudia lost her office position due to restructuring and role termination brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic . As part of our Unemployment Transition Program, Claudia chose to complete her capstone project to by creating a memorial piece for Keith, a family who because I said I would identified through our bereavement program. Keith lost his father, David, to COVID-19, and wanted to create a memorial to help remember and honor his father. Keith shared photos of his father, as well as insight into his life as a truck driver, and his love of Ohio sports. Claudia captured the essence of their father by creating the shadowbox memorial pictured below. 

Lessons Learned

Q. How do you feel this project affected the family or individual you helped? 

I believe my project will serve as a memorial for the Azbell family who has been unable to honor the passing of David Azbell due to Covid restrictions. This is essential in the mourning process as it helps to get closure. Since our mourning norms have been greatly impacted, I hope this shadow box will both honor David’s life while comforting his family as they cope with their loss.


Q. How did the project help you?

This project has helped me as it provided me with the opportunity to pause and care for others suffering during a universally difficult experience. I lost my job but this family lost a dear family member without the opportunity to mourn together. I am happy to have had the opportunity to celebrate the life and personality of David Azbell as described by his loved ones. It helped me feel productive. It was fulfilling. It is comforting to know I was able to contribute in a small way to their mourning process.

Q. What advice would you give to other people who are comforting a bereaved family/individual? 

My advice for those comforting the bereaved would be to find a way to celebrate the loved one’s life. When dealing with the terrible loss of a loved one, we must remind the bereaved how that person lived and celebrate that life. With time, celebrating the loved one’s life will no longer cause unbearable pain but serve as a cherished memory as they focus on the love and time they had together.

Claudia graduated from our January 2021 Cohort.

If you or someone you know is unemployed due to Covid-19, see if our Unemployment Transition Program is right for you. Additionally, if you have lost a loved one to COVID-19 and would like to be a recipient of one of our participant’s capstone project, please look at our Bereavement Support Page to sign up.