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
A drawing of a grid of simply drawn stick flowers. There are thirty-five in all in five rows of seven flowers.

The Bouquet

Set up a clean space at a flat work surface, and grab two things: a favorite pen or marker. a stack of blank paper. In the first attempts at this practice, it can be helpful to set a timer. Start with...

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Grief as a 3D Object

Grief is a four-dimensional possession. It fills some part of this room, and it also reaches back in time and toward the future. First study how 3D objects are enclosed: how 2D cloth or paper can be l...

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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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Mourning Loss of Mobility

Due to a recent diagnosis, I have lost the ability to perform many tasks as I once was able to. I have used walking aids for the past 5 months, many of my "friends" no longer invite me to hang out, I...

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A painting of a Black woman's bust against a field of pink flowers. She has her eyes closed and is weeping.

Welcoming Tears

Patiently wait for the tears to come. When they arrive, soften your belly and welcome them. Capture the image of your face while it is still wet and flushed. Visit this image often. Spend time observi...

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An abstract painting of a landscape that is mostly a rich cloudy sky. The bottom of the painting has swaths of bright red, blue and yellow.

Look at the Sky

Look at the sky.

Look at the sky out your window.

Look for all the variations of color and light you can see. Maybe there are clouds and they are moving...

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Hands

Go in front of the whitest wall in your house. Put your right cheek on the wall, it's like hearing the voice of the wall. Close your both eyes and think about baby hands- with all the details- chubby...

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Something to Take Me Out of Myself

Explaining how you feel to someone who has never experienced grief is a difficult process. Sometimes the English language does not have the words we need. Photograph yourself depicting what your feeli...

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Something Beautiful

Philosopher John O'Donohue once wrote to "keep something beautiful on your mind" during difficult times. To keep the grief from becoming all consuming think about something beautiful....a flower you s...

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A photograph, exterior on a sunny day - 6 smiling elder women in workout clothes stand in formation on the rooft of a building in a big city, holding silver cheerleader pom-poms over their head, about to cheer.

Try Something New

Write your cheer. Design your moves. Try it out!...

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A painted collage on a light brown fabric background. Around the left, bottom, and right sides, a pattern of white boxes with red triangles in them. The top half is filled with an array of abstract patterns, alternating a small design made of tiny yellow squares and white diamonds. Larger, in the center, is a collaged-together abstract arrangement of triangles, diamonds, and stripes, in blue, red, yellow, green, and pink. Below this form is a plant-like form with 8 yellow 'flowers', which appears to be dropping four blue leaves even further down. Arranged around the composition are other painted-collage designs, with fruit at their centers: two cherries on a stem in a yelow circle, a strawberry in a yellow red and green oval, a colorful coffee table with flowers on top, a slice of watermelon and a chair in purpose with red and lavender star-forms on its seat, and a bunch of grapes on its back.

The Importance of Routine

Losses of life interrupt the general flow of our lives. Things are not as they were, and life can feel chaotic. One way of bringing order into the chaos of loss is to establish healthy routines. Set t...

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Tenderness

Recall moments of tenderness, both human and otherwise: the touch of hand on shoulder, the needed hug, a note or message, the way that your cats curl together, the delicate meeting of boulders in the...

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Names of Those Lost

While visiting the 9/11 memorial in NYC outside in the rain, I ran my fingers over the engraved names in the memorial walls surrounding the fountains outlining the towers. I thought/prayed for each st...

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Watching and Living

It can be very overwhelming, watching and living. Think of the absoluteness of your fingers the sturdiness of arbors. To look past the emptiness right in front of your eyes. To stare at something beau...

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Connecting through Letter Writing

When you've lost someone, it can be very hard to ground yourself and accept that they're really gone. While it's absolutely fine to cry over someone you've lost, overdoing it isn't healthy. A great w...

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An illustration that features various elements that are found in kitchens. Vegetables, herbs, a frying pan, a cutting board and knives can be seen and in the center left there is a colorful red flame.

Food, Grief and Healing

Food is a powerful coping mechanism for grief. We gather around tables for comforting meals, or deliver casseroles to grieving loved ones. In grief, it's tempting to indulge in sugary, fatty foods for...

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Dear Future Ancestor / Nero Spiral

Meditation: "In the future the dead is all of us - jumped out of the earth to dance again. Every step a reminder of rhythm. Woven into our clothes gleam - dragonfly winged - I remember the good ghosts...

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A very realistic pencil drawing of a mountain with less detailed images of wooden poles placed at different angles in the foreground. There is a very small human figure off to the left.

Living With Loneliness

Loneliness is in integral part of grief. It is hard to accept and feel the loneliness of loss. Consider filling some of the emptiness you feel with other people and activities, such as volunteering or...

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Blossoms from the Mourning/ Morning Series

The solace of nature welcomes you....

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