Wish you well

By Kate Hassett

Wish you well
These nontraditional empathy cards express the often inexpressible

Earlier this year Emily McDowell, an artist, released a touching collection of ‘Empathy Cards’ to express the often inexpressible.

As a cancer survivor herself, she had been at the receiving end of some seriously unsolicited ‘advice’ from those around her who were searching to find the right thing to say, but often missed the mark.

She realised that the oversaturated rhetoric which surrounds illness was stifling their ability to express what it is they really wanted to say – and more importantly, what those who were suffering, really wanted to hear.

After the initial release saw McDowell flooded with emails and letters thanking her for her products, she decided to keep going, creating new cards to further complement her initial collection.

The latest collection continues on the same vein as the prior release. Full of witty humour and sly sarcasm, the cards do away with clichés and empathise with sincerity – a tone often lacking in commercially produced cards.


What McDowell was most excited about, was the response she received from the friends and family of those who were going through the hard times, thanking her for giving them something to say when they were lost for words.

“Both of those things were so meaningful to hear,” she told Upworthy.

When McDowell released her first line of cards she told Upworthy what it was that really drove her to design.

“The most difficult part of my illness wasn’t losing my hair, or being erroneously called ‘sir’ by Starbucks baristas, or sickness from chemo. It was the loneliness and isolation I felt when many of my close friends and family members disappeared because they didn’t know what to say or said the absolute wrong thing without realising it.”

She hopes that these cards will find their way to people who want to show their support and care, but sometimes just can’t find the right words to do so.

Visit her website here to see the full collection of cards.



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