Emily’s Empathy


I’m a huge fan of Emily McDowell. She is a wonderful illustrator with a cheeky yet incredibly smart sensibility. She’s known for irreverent greeting cards like these:

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Fun, right? But she’s outdone herself with a brilliant collection she calls “Empathy Cards”. They were designed out of Emily’s desire to to provide better, more authentic ways to communicate about sickness and suffering to those with a serious illness.

Most of us struggle to find the right words in the face of a friend or loved one’s major health crisis, whether it’s cancer, chronic illness, mental illness, or anything else. It’s a really tough problem; someone we love needs our support more than ever, but we don’t have the right language for it. “Get well soon” cards don’t make sense when someone might not. Sympathy cards can make people feel like you think they’re already dead. A “fuck cancer” card is a nice sentiment, but when I had cancer, it never really made me feel better. And I never personally connected with jokes about being bald or getting a free boob job, which is what most “cancer cards” focus on. With Empathy Cards, my goal is to help people connect with each other through truth and insight, which is one of the founding principles of this brand. I want the recipients of these cards to feel seen, understood, and loved.

All cards are $4.50 and available through Emily’s web site. (As always, click to shop!)

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One thought on “Emily’s Empathy

  1. Dear Blue B, I love this! It even comes in full color, with many colors to the sentiment, even if you don’t see them. love, mo.m.

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