Have you ever....


CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2
Apr 24, 2002
Pittsfield, MA - The Berkshires
I am currently framing a memory shadowbox for the parents of a little girl who recently lost her battle with a brain tumor. It's hard not to shed a tear while your framing a few of her favorite things, her last portrait and a lock of hair.
I recently did the same for the wife of a friend of mine.
It was sad but at the same time I learned things about Gary that I didn't know. He loved comics and pot and junkfood and football.
The pot was in part for his chemotherapy but I padded the walls with football pics and comics and sewed down his favorite hat and a christmas G string he won as a gag gift at a christmas party we were at last year in happier times.
When she got the finished job she (and the 30 other people that showed up to this years christmas party) started to cry and then as people noticed other items (bullets, gummy bears etc.) they started to laugh and talk up good times that things reminded them of.
It is hanging in her house now and next to it a portrait I did of him as well.
In my time framing I have done a few 9/11 pieced containing pieces of the towers. ( I know it is illegal but when a mother tells you this is all she has of her son, and then puts a bucket of debris on your counter, you don't mention that it is illegal to own it)
I did a hinged shadow box so that she could touch the pieces and bring her closer to the things she relates to her sons final resting place.

Sadness goes hand in hand with life and our job is to make everything that walks through our door as beautiful as we can.

At the end of those jobs I felt proud of the work I did and sad for the necessity of it.

I hope this helped and not just brought you down farther. On the brighter side the items they brought to you would have only been sitting in a shoebox if it weren't for you displaying them for all to see, enjoy and remeber.

Yes I have.

We donate framing to the Make-A-Wish foundation of Central Ohio. We frame the thank yous to the doners. Most of these have included photos of the kids on their trips or with their hero's. All bring us to tears.

The most memorable was not associated with Make-A-Wish in the begining. A man walked in to the store with some photo's of his daughter in a high school marching band. As were designing the piece, he breaks down crying. His daughter has been diagnosed with brain tumors and is scheduled for surgury that week. He wanted the photos framed to brighten up and personalize her hospital room as she would be spending the next several months there.

The surgery took place with the highest of hopes, but unfortunetly it was not completely sucsessful.
She battled the cancer for the next two years, and we framed many a special items for her room.

Two years ago she passed on to our fathers home were her pain was ended and replaced with love.

Her dad stoped by about a week after to let us know how much both he and his daughter appriciated our work for them over thier battle.

About a month later we framed the thank you for the donor of a her wish.
Probably the most heart wrenching job I've done was to frame the plaster cast foot and hand of a friend's baby that was lost in the 38th week of pregnancy. It was absolutely the most precious item I've ever framed. As I started, I didn't realize they wanted it for the funeral service, and it turned into an all day job, with other items included in the package. It was displayed front and center at the Church. I cry everytime I think about it. The florist (also a shop neighbor) asked if I wanted to include my bill with theirs. I told them no, and there wouldn't be a bill. This job moved me beyond what I expected.
We're in the business of presenting and preserving items of significant sentimental value. Unfortunately, sometimes that means framing mementos from a recently-lost loved one.

Those are really special jobs, and I'll generally do them as gifts to the family.