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

Remembering

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 digital painting - a small fluffy white cloud, fading into mist on either side, floats against a sky blue gradient, from dark blue at the top to light gray at the bottom.

Instructions for Becoming a Cloud

lie back and rest on the razors edge of earth and sky look up to the clouds now let go...

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A black and white photo collage. The bare torso of a black man extends his arms forward and clenches his hands together. Caught within those hands is a smaller image of the shirtless black man, his arms constrained by the large hands within which he's held.

People Grieve Differently

Not everyone grieves alike. Some express grief through their feelings and gain comfort from talking to others. Still others express grief through actions and problem-solving, preferring not to talk ab...

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It’s okay if you’re angry

It’s okay if you’re angry. Angry at the person for dying. Angry at yourself for not saying the right thing. Angry at the doctors for not catching it sooner. Angry at friends for not understanding....

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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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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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A colorful cartoon painting of a daisy with a face on it. Her eyes are closed and blue lines that appear to be rain cross over the image vertically.

Acceptance

Let it rain....

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A watercolor painting of a circle of many colored stones with a yellow feather at the top and a blue feather at the bottom. In the center is an opal-like stone.

Gathering of Stones

A Walking Meditation Take a quiet walk toward an outdoor place you enjoy such as a park, beach, or woods. As you walk, pick up any small stones that catch your eye. Stop long enough to examine each st...

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A drawing of a woman in profile. She is staring intently at the viewer while she sews up parts of her flesh that are torn apart showing her biological matter inside.

Dealing With Past Wrongs and Resentments

Anger, resentment and unforgiveness are heavy burdens to carry and, if not dealt with, can sabotage your grief journey. Writing a letter to the one who has wronged you can be incredibly healing. Take...

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After Life

What do you believe happens after a person dies?...

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A painting in watercolor and ink; the top half shows a head and shoulders in black, with geometric patterns engraved like rays radiating around the head, the face cast down, all against a sky of black paint patterned with the rough texture of the paper. The bottom half of the image is a lighter gray, with the central body of the figure extending down to the legs, which are covered by a small bright green tree with black ink trunk. A small patch of bright sky-blue is visible beneath the tree on one side.

Exercising Your Grief

Exercise is an important component to staying healthy and is a natural mood-elevator. What are your favorite physical activities? How could you incorporate more movement into your daily life? Can you...

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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.

Plant

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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An abstract painting with large swaths of light and dark blues, white and gray.

Practice Strength-based Self-talk

Healthy thinking leads to healthy emotions. By listening to how you talk to yourself, you can determine whether your internal statements lead to anxiety and defeat (“I can’t do this") or encourage...

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A mixed media painting of a Black man's head on a metallic gold highly texture background. The man seems to have a halo of red and black lines and his mouth is also gold.

Who am I now?

The loss of an important person or a difficult life change often affects our self-definition. Roles may change. You may question who you are now. Focusing on the parts of your character that have not...

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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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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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Alive Again

Sometimes I don't know what to do with myself, and I think of all the things I'd be doing if I were outside and how much things have changed since all of this started. The family and friends I haven...

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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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When someone dies

When someone dies, you can thank them for their life. Walk around the house, inside or outside. Find something that makes you think about the person who died. Really think about that person. Thank the...

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