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

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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An architectural drawing of a turretted building is overlayed with some map imagery. On the bottom of the vertically oriented image are the words "This place has a body"

Disappearing Place

Remember a vanished place of personal importance. Describe it, by writing or speaking of it....

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Grief Rituals Honor Sorrow

“Measure thy life by loss instead of gain, not by the wine drunk but by the wine poured forth. For love’s strength standeth in love’s sacrifice and whoso suffers most hast most to give.” – U...

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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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Co-existing Feelings

Allow yourself space to feel many, sometimes seemingly conflicting, things at once. We rarely feel only one emotion at a time. Sadness, fear, anger, hope, relief, joy… these feelings can all co-exis...

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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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1,000 People for One Person

"It takes 1,000 people for one person to grieve." Martín Prechtel Your village exists to witness this time. Your village existed from the moment you came here. Look around you. We will carry your gri...

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Create and Collaborate

Create and collaborate. Use an item belonging to your loved one to create something new. T-shirts may become a quilt or a pillow. Photos and letters may become a collage. You might listen to their fav...

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Smelling Flowers

Imagine a vase with flowers and those flowers are the person you are missing (if you have a vase and real flowers, this will work). Now imagine the smell of the flowers and picture the person. Does th...

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Blossoms from the Mourning/ Morning Series

The solace of nature welcomes you....

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An abstract torn paper collage - orange paper torn into small circles is arranged to resemble fish scales, forming two semi-circles that meet in the center. Blue torn paper circles fill the gap behind the orange.

Processing Grief

I try to do one task a day. One day I am painting the paper, finding the right colors, letting it dry. On another day I’m ready to rip it up. Sit and rip, and rip and rip. I rip into similar shapes...

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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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A photograph of a figurine with a round medallion-like head with eyes closed. The whole rest of the body of the figurine is swaddled in rough cloth, wrapped carefully like a small child.

A Grief Doll

This simple activity may help ease your transition. • Draw a portrait of your beloved departed • Rescue their handkerchief (or apron, or other cloth of theirs) • Make a Grief Doll and keep it un...

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Growth

In time of pain and strength, you are always growing. Growth happens in hardship and joy. Growth is non-linear - you flourish even if you can't see it. Our growth is interconnected and rooted in one a...

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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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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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Allowing Grieving

Grieving is one of our most natural activities. Thich Nhat Hanh says, "When you plant lettuce, if it does not grow well, you don't blame the lettuce. You look for reasons it is not doing well. It may...

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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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Talking to Loved Ones

Whenever I am grieving over the loss of my loved ones, I talk to them in my head about whatever it is I’m going through, knowing that I won’t be able to hear their answer but also believing that t...

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