New Empathy Cards™ for November!

Hi guys!

As I’ve said here before, I was BLOWN AWAY by the degree to which our Empathy Cards™ resonated with people when we released them in May. Just absolutely floored, and so grateful to be able to make this kind of meaningful contribution to the world using ideas that were once just living in my brain.

Of course, because I’m kind of cuckoo and self-critical and also a human (I think this true for a lot of us) whenever people really like something I do, I immediately freak out about the possibility that I might never do anything that good ever again and WHAT IF THIS IS IT AND ALL MY BEST IDEAS ARE BEHIND ME? So you can probably imagine how sitting down to write another round was slightly intimidating, to say the least.

I am really, really happy and relieved to report that I survived the process, and that I actually think some of these new cards are even stronger than the first ones. We had so much customer feedback to consider when creating these – something we didn’t have the first round — and I wanted to make sure I honored that, while also making sure I was writing from a real place, AND that they were good, creatively speaking.


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Many of these new styles are appropriate for a wide variety of illnesses, loss, and general crappy situations.


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It was also important to me to include something that directly addressed mental health; I don’t talk about this a whole lot, but I’ve suffered from major depression on and off for almost 30 years, so this is another topic that’s close to me personally.



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I also wanted to do more cards that were applicable to chronic/long-term illness, which is how these came about. I remember my oncologist saying the “marathon/sprint” thing to me, and although it’s an apt metaphor, having to run in general freaking sucks.


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I worked on a lot of ideas specific to grief and loss, but after a few weeks, I still just wasn’t loving a lot of what I was writing. So I reached out to Nora McInerny Purmort, who is one of the best writers I know, and who also lost her husband Aaron to brain cancer in November of 2014. The next time you have three hours in which to laugh and cry, you should check out Nora’s blog, My Husband’s Tumor, where she began chronicling their lives after Aaron’s diagnosis in 2011. I say you’ll need three hours because you will not be able to stop reading. I promise. By the time you look up from the computer, it’ll basically be Valentine’s Day. BUT IT WILL BE WORTH IT.


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Anyway, Nora wrote this Five Stages card, which I think is just great, and she’ll be writing more in the future. Right now, on top of working her regular job and being a mom and figuring out how to navigate life as a young widow, she’s learning how to run a nonprofit, Still Kickin, and waiting patiently for her book, This Is Not A Sad Love Song, to come out this spring.

Thank you all, again, for all of your encouragement and support around these. If you feel moved to share one or more of these photos on social media, use the hashtag #empathycards so we can find you! That way, you’ll automatically be entered into a drawing for three winners of $100 gift certificates to our shop.

Much love and appreciation,



19 thoughts on “New Empathy Cards™ for November!

  1. Thank you for being real, honest and raw with these cards. People are afraid of grief and especially death by suicide. If you can’t laugh and find some humor in the terrible things people say to you after your husband dies, what else is there? You and Nora nailed it with your 5 Stages of Grief card and your “this is God’s plan” cards. I have heard that 1,000 times and the responses in my thought bubble make me laugh and I am sure would shock many.

    Emily, keep the cards coming. You are helping many heal and find laughter again after heartache and loss.

  2. I love these cards! Thank you for putting what goes theough through my head when I hear certian phrases. It is hard enough living with chronic illness…the nicities get really old! Some good old fashioned honesty is a huuuge breath of freash air!
    Thank you again for what you do! I would love to get any of these catds the next time I am in the hospital! Could you make a card about the phrase “god doesn’t give you more than you can handle” ? Because that one is my favorite one to hate!

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  4. When one door closes, another opens.
    Every cloud has a silver lining.

    Keep it up. You are on to something important. Tired of smarmy mushy cards! GO!

  5. I can’t stop laughing! Soooooo good! Please create a card that says, I will take down the next person who tells me, The reason you’ve been alone so long is that God wants you all to himself.

  6. Sooooo good!!!! My favourite has to be the Marathon – people told me that all the time when I was recovering from brain surgery, unfortunately my husband said it the most, my response every time was I hate running, so that doesn’t really help does it!

  7. Emily, I hope you get fabulously rich with these wonderful truly empathetic cards. My youngest daughter died ten years ago so if you need copy suggestions, I’ve got a million of them.

    You have filled a huge gap which has been a gaping hole forever!

  8. Love this! I would like to suggest a card … teach a parrot to say ”one day at a time” or ”one foot in front of the other” and you won’t have to keep saying it.

    With your talents you would make it perfect. Best of luck!

  9. These are awesome, thank you! Have you ever considered doing something along the lines of miscarriage or loss in that regard? Tough subject, but you’ve tackled other subjects with grace and humor, seems like something you’d be good at.

  10. i am currently in a psychiatric facility because the last months where really rough. After the worst conversation with a good friend your cards popped up in my newsfeed and they made me feel so comforted. Thank you.

  11. Hi Emily!

    It was so hard for me to read these cards, my eyes got all sweaty. I’ve lost a couple of relatives to ALS, have a brother with a brain tumor, I’m glad my dad and all his brothers and sisters were healthy, but I’m not glad they died. My wife left me widowed at 36, after going through a lot of mental stuff. I understand grief and stress and loss, no hamsters involved.

    TL/DR I kinda have a perspective on what people are feeling, and I don’t make it about my things. It’s their turn.

    Some of those tired old sayings offend my engineer brain, especially that one about what doesn’t kill us making us stronger. Sometimes what doesn’t kill us still leaves us weak and broken. I have some experience with that, too. It hasn’t killed me yet, but I have to get ready to go have another test.

    You keep rockin & rollin, I’ll quit rambling. Thank you.

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  13. I love these though I have to say, as someone who tries to be supportive and to not say the “wrong” thing, that some slack could be given to people, as they are really trying to help and to empathize but can’t possibly know what the sick person is experiencing unless they’ve been there. People say “don’t worry, say something, anything, that’s better than silence”; but these cards show exactly why people are so afraid to say the wrong thing and thus err on the side of being quiet……If that makes sense.

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