10 Essentials Cards for Grief

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These cards use 10 Essentials that are needed when hiking to provide practical metaphors for essentials that are needed while navigating the grief process.

Carrying the 10 Essentials while hiking in the woods, even for a short day hike, is wise and develops into good habits. Being aware of what one is carrying ensures having options if the hike does not go as planned.

Following a death, we can look at these same 10 Essentials as a guide in our journey on a grief trail that can be unpredictable at times and unexpected with the different turns.

The 10 Essentials were developed by Dianne D. Castellano, LCSW and Alive Grief Support.


  • Download the "10 Essentials" file.
  • Print the "10 Essentials" (front and back) on card-stock or thicker paper of your choice. 
  • Cut the cards apart along the dotted lines on the backside of the cards.
  • Use a hole punch at the top of each card, so that they can be secured together with a piece of yarn or string.