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 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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An abstract black and white and grey drawing that has a ghostly feeling with images of peony flowers emerging from the right side.

Connecting With the Body

I grieve not only for the losses of the present but also for what could have been. If I stay too long in my head imagining the things I won't ever have, I can lose myself in a spiral downward. When I...

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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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Fill in the Blanks

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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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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After Life

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

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A print of a lush jungle river flowing to the left of the image. The colors are black, mint green and hot pink.

Letting Go

Visit a river or stream and bring a flower. Place the flower in the water. As you watch the flower drift downstream, keep your eye on it for as long as you can, keeping it in view until it becomes a t...

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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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Unfurling

Interplaying with the grief. Put on a piece of music (3-5 min long instrumental works great) and begin to move. Taking care of your body and listening - Does it need to move gently with a swaying moti...

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Subliming

We’re taught at a young age in school that form is in flux. Water can change its physical state from solid to liquid to gas a million times and never lose any part of itself. We forget this fact in...

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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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Rabbit Love

I am mourning the loss of my newfound rabbit love, who only tolerated me. She escaped, in heat, to what I hope are adventures, but I am afraid – as I cope with fears of Covid, a zoologic pandemic it...

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Getting to Know Myself

I comfort myself by… I find hope in… My friends give me…...

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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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Resonance

"Don't forget about music during the hard times, it will help you." These were my dad's dying words. Choose a piece of music that speaks to you in the moment. Create an intentional listening space by...

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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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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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A painting of a Black man's head and shoulders in profile. He is surrounded by large white flowers, with a pink background and the words "Black-Skinned Beauty" in the white border at the bottom.

Helping Others Will Help Yourself

Helping others will help yourself.

Focusing on others can be a great way to enable healing.

Consider doing random acts of kindness: donating supplies to an animal shelter, delivering flowers to a nursing home...

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The Enemy of the Mind

As humans, we are born kicking and screaming with fight laced deep within our bones. This is something we are all given, to use in times to protect ourselves from the world when it decides to go again...

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PREORDERING NOW AVAILABLE FOR THE GRIEF DECK from Princeton Architectural Press!: CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFO