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 black and white drawing of a trail of circles that are shaded to look like the surface of the moon. There is a black border around the image and the words "the journey" are printed in the bottom border.

Celebrate Signs of Healing

Healing is natural in a healthy grief process. Being able to enjoy time alone, laughing at a joke or funny movie, planning pleasant activities for the future, having a renewed sense of energy and purp...

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A mixed media artwork that has a textured background that resembles water meeting a shore. A long bottle is cutout and collaged in the lower right as if it has washed to shore.

Washed Ashore

We often ‘bottle’ up our emotions because they are just too much to deal with. We might cork them up and throw them out into the ocean hoping they will leave us forever. But without paying attenti...

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A mixed media artwork that features an abstract background in red, white and brown and a centered altarpiece. The altarpiece background is made of shattered glass and small objects are placed on the bottom ledge of the altar.

Learning From Grief

You can’t bring back the dead, but you can learn their wisdom, passed down from generation to generation. What did you learn from your loved one? What were the gifts that you received? How might you...

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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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Time 2 Heal

In the Quaker practice of worship, friends come together, seated and facing one another, for an hour of silence. For the first few meetings, the silence can be uncomfortable. Maybe even unbearable. Fo...

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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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A painting in bright bold colors set against a starry night sky, a face or mask of blue with pink designs on its cheeks holds its mouth open in a near perfect circle. Within the red circle of the mouth three smaller figures can be seen, from head to shoulders, one yellow, one orange, one purple. Behind the blue head, a fanstasy landscape of stripe patterned, polka dot patterned, and diamond patterns tree trunks and verticals.

Ritual of Remembrance

I didn’t know I thought about my mom everyday until I had to wake up and remind myself that she was dead. Now, I wake up and remind myself she lived. Gather on a tray: Pen, paper, candle, lighter, a...

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Remember Your Ancestors Generously

remember and count your ancestors generously you are not alone find the place that knows this inheritance well - the nook of your elbow, the curve of your hair let yourself feel some light - the wind...

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Away with the Current

1. Take a small decorative box like a chocolates box or a gift box. 2. Make the box into a little altar to your loved one or group, put a candle in it and go to the beach. 3. Light the candle, put the...

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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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Two Way Road

Sometimes we feel our life is an only one way road. Immersed in suffering and loving we believe there is only one construction. May be we can repair or rebuild part of the road and ourselves. Try to g...

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Grief Through Time and Space

Look up to the stars, and listen. What are they telling you? What are they whispering to you across the light years? Across the 5.88 trillion miles that light travels every 365 days? From every annive...

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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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A colorful, roughly-brushed painting that features tree-like figures with orange and yellow leaves, and other items in gray and brown and blue that may refer to the built environment.

Tune Your Senses

Look outside a window. Take note of the neighborhood you’re in, with all your senses. Sense the familiar or unfamiliar smells that are almost barely detectable. Hear the sounds that freely move and...

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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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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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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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This Too Shall Pass

Radical acceptance is a path. Equanimity is a goal. Five hundred years ago lived Akbar, third emperor of the Mughal Empire in South Asia. Seeking wisdom from his advisor Birbal, Akbar asked, “What w...

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Walks With Pleasure and Sorrow

I walked a mile with Pleasure; She chatted all the way; But left me none the wiser For all she had to say. I walked a mile with Sorrow; And ne’er a word said she; But, oh! The things I learned from...

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