The Artists’
Grief Deck


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

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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The Hardest Thing

If I could say one thing to the person who died, I would… The hardest thing about life without this person is…....

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Sharing About Myself (With Someone Else)

I feel worried about… I feel happy when… I have regrets about… I feel guilty for… I feel safest when… I am encouraged by…...

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Six word Memoir

Everyone has a story to tell. Today, you have the chance to tell a part of your story in 6 words. There is no right or wrong way to do this. Take some quiet time in a peaceful space and think about wh...

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Last year I learned that I shared my August 19th birthday with World Photography Day. As a fine art photographer, I take that as a magical sign. I have always chosen to live life lyrically - to observ...

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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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A stylized ink drawing of two female faces, one taller and older and the other smallers, embracing with eyes closed and arms wrapped around one another. The taller woman is in a pattenred dress with pink black and white shapes. The two figures' hair is painted in flat pink and blends together into a single shapre flowing around them. The background above is curved, parallel lines with patterned hatching.

Let Others Know What You Need

It is a good idea to clearly communicate with caring friends and family what would be most helpful to you in your grief journey. They may need to be educated on what are common expressions of grief to...

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A drawing of two long ladders that intersect and have their rungs entwined in the middle. One ladder is gray/pink, the other is wood and they both extend beyond the edge of the card.

Grieving the loss of control

Losing someone or something important to us brings home the fact there is much in life we cannot control. Control is something we thought we had, but ultimately there are many things in life we cannot...

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The Musing Below Helps Me Let Go

The musing below helps me let go. Whenever we paint our nails, we are more aware of the bones of the fingers. Take those moments with your body. The tick marks of my life that used to hold milestones...

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Dance and Dream

Play a song that speaks to your heart and spirit. Dance and dream. Don't think just let it flood out....

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The Weight of Grief

Handling grief can feel like an immense weight is on our shoulders. A weight that leaves no room to breathe and is vast and lonely. It's important to remember that there will be moments when the weigh...

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What are two things you learned from the person who died? Three ways I am like the person who died are… Three ways I am different from the person who died are…...

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A painting of a female face with dark hair, eyes closed, almost entirely obscured by rows of painted flowers in pink, red, and white which flow over the figure.

When Tears Won’t Come

My mother always said tears are cleansing for the soul. But sometimes the tears just won't come. Sit in a quiet place that can get wet. Wear something white. Put on music that calms you. Perhaps, ligh...

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Unresolved Feelings

Losing people can leave us with unresolved feelings. Write a letter to your lost one(s). This can be someone you knew, or someone you never met (such as an ancestor)Tell them what you wish you could t...

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Tell Your Story in Colors and Shapes

Tell your story in colours and shapes: Gather some paper and art supplies -- anything you like. How would you draw the story of your loss without using any identifiable images, just shapes and colours...

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Combating the Finitude of the Grave

You find a deer mouse lifeless at your doorstep and bury it in the yard. Place your pencil on the page where you imagine the grave. Now begin to trace the contour of the mouse: the skeleton, the pulmo...

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An imprint of a dandelion or flower in red and purple with a pinkish white center, blending like watercolor into a field of dark gray.


After my mother died, I had the urge to plant something, to watch something grow. It felt good to sink my hands into the earth, feel the soil sift through my fingers. It felt tangible. Plant a tree, a...

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Piecing Things Together

When we go through a hard time, we sometimes feel like we're torn up into a lot of little pieces. To help feel more together, rip up some old magazines and glue the pieces together into a new picture....

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Grief and Art

During this great global quarantine, our behavior has been shaped by the contamination of the world. We have separated ourselves from others in order to escape the virus outside, which is invisible, s...

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