A painting of a portion of an empty bed against a dark black backround. Crumpled pillows and sheets rendered realistically in white and gray. Sheets and pillows indicate someone once slept there.

Is it Grief or Depression?

In the early days of grieving, some depressive symptoms are certainly present and normal. However, going forward, significant depression, exhibited in such ways as an inability to experience pleasure,...

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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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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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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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A photograph with layered exposures of rocks and water. The colors are vivid blues, greens, yellows, and white on a dark background.

Revitalizing Water Ritual

You need: Water, a glass, calm energy, a moment of your time. Take a drinking vessel and fill it with water. Hold the vessel in your hands and concentrate. Say the names of your loved ones, spirit gui...

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A digital painting that has a marine blue background and a yellow spectral figure. The figure is only made of a head and two arms and it is holding a golden ball of energy.

Remembrance Enhances Endearment

Recall the people you love who you have lost in your life who have added deeply to who you are. Then write a “blessing equation.” For example: “John + Shannon + Leslie + Chondra = ME” Take som...

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A two panel black and white illustration where both panels show multiple hands touching and massaging other hands in a cascade.

The Power of Touch

Touch another person's hand and wait until the temperature becomes consistent. There is one more thing in common between you. If you are by yourself, put your hand on a surface or an object and wait u...

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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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An abstract painting that has a dark background with colorful details - broad orange and purple brushstrokes, blue highlights, black scribbled lines. The word "happy" is written in cursive handwriting in bright green.

Welcoming Happiness

Can you be happy at the crossroads of grief? Is it allowed? Do you feel guilty for being happy sometimes? Place your bare feet flat on Mother Earth, your hands on your heart and close your eyes. Inhal...

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A painting of a young light brown skinned girl holding a large basket of corn. She has a dark red dress on and the background is a starry night.

Connecting With Ancestors

Connect with an ancestor, either by genealogy or culture or choice. It may help to imagine or conjure their image, or perhaps you may just feel their warmth or light. What might you thank them for? Wh...

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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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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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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 print that shows an off-kilter forest of dead trees that appears to be wounded and are oozing black goo. The sky behind them is a deep crimson with a golden sun.

Addressing Anxiety

Anxiety is a natural part of the grief experience. For some, however, it may become problematic, interfering with daily life. What things help to decrease your anxiety? Activities such as deep-breathi...

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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 black and white illustration that features two hands braiding a loose braid of someone's hair. The back of the head is pictured in an oval frame with a black outline and a white border.

Simple Grief Prompts for Children (and Adults)

Finish these thoughts: Three people who understand my grief are…. In order to heal, I need…… When I’m alone……. I hope……… I’m letting go of…… I’m looking forward to……. I f...

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A photograph of a white person's hand holding a photograph of an older white woman. In the background is a large body of water.

Carry Them With You

Find or create a likeness of your lost loved one. It could be a photograph, a small sculpture, an object that belonged to the person or something else. Choose something that represents them at their b...

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An abstract painting oriented vertically that is made of vertical rectangular strokes of color. The lighter pastel oranges, pinks and greens at the top change to darker tones of greys, greens and blues at the bottom.

Waves of Grief

When a wave of grief strikes, fight the urge to run away. Remain on the shore and allow the wave to wash over you. Remind yourself that you won’t drown, and that the wave, like a tide, will go out a...

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A screenprint with watercolor of a river with five tributaries. It travels from top to bottom and the roman number 5 is written at the top.

Expressing Grief

The 5 of Water in the ECOtarot deck is pictured here. The water cards are related to emotions and the 5 cards are cards that relate to loss. This loss is something that must be passed through in order...

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