The Artists’
Grief Deck

How-to

Welcome to the Artists’ Grief Deck. There is no correct way to use these cards, but we have these suggestions:

  • Set aside time for yourself to go through them
  • Find or make a space for yourself
  • Look closely at the images
  • Be open to the feelings that arise
Learn More

Music and Grief

In grief, time feels like the enemy. Making music helped me find a better relationship with time when feeling difficult emotions. Even if you have not played in a long time, there is no bad time to ge...

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A black and white drawing of a person spinning LPs in a darkened room. There are many records pictured, and from many of them bubbles arise that have small drawings of memories inside.

The Power of Music

Music has always been a powerful and multifaceted tool that I have used to navigate myself through all kinds of grief and trauma. Oftentimes, we may be afraid to listen to the songs that remind us of our loved ones who have passed away, because what if the memories come back to..

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Writing to Cope

When I am going through a difficult phase I tend to bottle everything up. I used to think it was normal to do this and that it was a more efficient way of dealing with my feelings. Through doing this...

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Look to Nature as Your Guide

Release. Letting go is a natural process of nature. The leaves of trees fall as they turn into gold and drift lighter and lighter, drifting in the wind. Try to be like that. Feel yourself floating as...

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Perspective

Did I become a butterfly when I dreamed, or did the butterfly become me when it dreamed? In any case, butterflies are not confused, and even if they are, they are a small being, and so am I....

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Caring for Your Whole Person

We are integrated people, made up of our physical, mental, spiritual and social components. Good self-care involves all four components. Taking a walk, eating a well- balanced diet, resting well all c...

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Using Your Hands to Remember Their Hands

If you have clay or playdough allow your hands to squish, mold, or shape it. Using a toothpick or pencil, write your loved one’s name in the clay/dough. Spend a minute remembering a way they worked...

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Coping with Waves of Grief

Sometimes large waves of grief overcome me during the oddest parts of the day, while I’m at work or walking to the subway. I don’t always have an outlet in those moments. Life doesn’t always mak...

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Hold a Hand

Hold a hand, Hold the hand of your lost one, your beloved, the hand of the being who haunts you. And when you become accustomed to the deep presence of the absence hold any hand, your lover’s hand,...

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Digital Memorial

Create a digital memorial for your loved one. You might use your favorite online content curation platform, look at reviews of available platforms and choose one that’s right for you, or ask someone...

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Take a Cue From Poetry

Take a Cue From Poetry What is your favorite poem? Put it in your own words. In the original poem below, I substitute the word hope for grief from the first line of Emily Dickinson’s poem “‘Hope...

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A very dark abstract painting oriented vertically. The grey, ghostly forms seem to drag down the frame weighting down the bottom.

Distraction From Grief

Distraction from grief is a healthy coping strategy. It is not necessary to experience grief intensely 100% of the time to move through your journey in a health manner. “Taking a break” from the g...

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From the left, an arrow pointing up reading 'inhale,' leading to a short arrow pointing right reading 'hold,' leading to another arrow pointing up reading 'inhale,' to another pointing right reading 'hold,' continuing in a stairstep pattern until the topmost arrow pointing right reading 'hold,' leads to a long arrow pointing all the way down reading 'exhale,' and a long arrow on the bottom pointing left reading 'hold,' making a continuous loop around the page of white.

The Power of Breath

We can calm ourselves through our breath. Use the pattern on the front of this card to guide you. Repeat 3 times or more. Notice how you feel....

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Storytime

Read your favorite stories aloud and believe with all of your heart your loved one is listening closely to every page....

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Reach Back

Reach back right now. Plant both feet on the Earth and remember the places where you have gathered, the waters which you have swum across, the flowers that you have planted together. What secrets did...

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The Letters of Loved Ones

Spell out the person or groups name vertically. Use each letter of the name and come up with a word that begins with that letter and describes you loved one(s). L ovely I ncomparable L ife of the part...

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A photograph with layered exposures of rocks and water. The colors are vivid blues, greens, yellows, and white on a dark background.

Revitalizing Water Ritual

You need: Water, a glass, calm energy, a moment of your time. Take a drinking vessel and fill it with water. Hold the vessel in your hands and concentrate. Say the names of your loved ones, spirit gui...

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Take a Moment

Take a moment. It’s actually okay! I know it feels like you are in a fog. Or numb. Or lonely. Or maybe you feel everything’s a bit meaningless. I’m really sorry. It’s not easy. Right now I wan...

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When distressed, go meet your younger self

Reconnect with the childlike wonder within you. Wonder that made you feel alive. Think about at least two things that gave you immense joy as a child. Close your eyes and try to imbibe that feeling. S...

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