Grief Mapping

Facilitated by Joanne Zerdy, PhD

About this Self-Paced Class:

I have designed this class for Individuals looking for Online Resources and Activities to Explore and Process their Grief. No matter the cause for the grief or how long ago events occurred, actively grieving can lead to body-mind-spirit integration and healing. I believe that some of this work can be creative, enjoyable, and even inspiring.

Why am I facilitating this course? As a grieving parent with first-hand experience of the hard work of grieving/healing, a former university professor committed to education and the arts, and a researcher and writer who has published essays (including one that considered a map as a performing object), I have a unique perspective and blend of experiences to bring to this course and to my work with you. Given the difficult times in which we live, I believe that the work of active grieving is perhaps more important than ever. By healing ourselves, we strengthen our ability to support and care for others.

To meet me and to learn about this class, please watch the short video below.

Class Details:

In the course you will receive:

  • An Introduction-Overview that introduces grief mapping & grieving journeys and explains the class structure

  • Four Weekly Assignment Prompts that are divided into 3 sections:

    • A Reading/Viewing Section that invites you to learn about different kinds of mapping processes and maps

    • A Map-Making Prompt that provides you with suggestions, questions, and ideas for generating 4 unique grief maps: World Grief Map, Chorographical Grief Map, Grief Body Map, and Grief Road Map

    • A Directional-Intention Section that uses the 4 directions (East, South, West, North) to encourage you to set an Intention in order to continue the embodied work of healing

  • A Conclusion that presents questions for observation, reflection, and insight

Once you have completed the Weekly Prompt Responses, you will upload your materials (including a photograph or scan of your map) to our Course Dropbox Folder. (*Please note that you do not need a Dropbox account to access this folder)

How I Engage with Your Work:

Within 72 hours, I will Send You a Response with Observations and Questions aimed at deepening your relationship with your grief map, seeing your grief map from another perspective, and/or linking elements of your maps and responses. You can also email me throughout the course with questions, observations, or ideas that come up for you as you complete the weekly assignments.

*Optional: You are welcome to set up a Video Chat with me if you would like more one-one-one engagement each week, or at the end of the course to serve as a reflective summation, or whenever you feel the need for a bit more direct, compassionate support!

What I Hope You Will Gain from this Course:

By the end of this course, I hope that you:

  • will have found some new language, images, symbols, objects, activities, and/or structures with which to continue your grief work and to communicate your grieving and healing process to others

  • will have found some inspiration and positive energy from the creative, artistic, compassionate, and healing work of exploring and charting your own grieving journey

Course Registration Fee & Process:

  • Registration Fee: $50 **However there are 2 (!) remaining “seats” available for a limited time at the Discounted Rate of: $40

  • After Purchasing the Course HERE, you will receive an email with instructions on how to start the course. 

  • Questions? Concerns? Please contact Joanne at or 828-348-4164


Student Testimonial

I had never given much thought to mapping my grief, but with Joanne’s intentional prompts and compassionate guidance, I was able to sit with my grief work in a different way through this online, self-paced course. I was able to go beyond my own narrative and view my grief story from many different perspectives. This opened my heart and mind to new possibilities. I now journey through my grief with new eyes. Thank you Joanne and Inviting Abundance for your vulnerability and compassion in helping us all know ourselves more deeply through our individual and collective grief work. -Katie M.


Frequently Asked Questions:

How long do I have to complete this course? 

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I encourage you to complete the class in 4-6 weeks; however I am committed to responding to your work for up to 8 weeks after you register for the class. After that time, I will likely be able to respond to your completed assignments, but I cannot guarantee it. You will, though, continue to have access to the online materials. At the end of each weekly prompt, you will be able to proceed to the following week, so you can work at your own pace. Although I have designed the class with a structure for moving week to week, you are welcome to complete the weeks "out of order," if a different arrangement of map-making would work better for you.

My grief experience happened a long time ago. OR My grief experience doesn't have to do with the death of a loved one. Will this class still be helpful?

Yes, I certainly hope so! I believe that grief encompasses an incredibly broad range of situations and experiences -- from death to acute & chronic illness, to forced migration, to loss of home or job, to the end of a relationship, to any number of traumatic events having to do with you or someone or something you care about. If you would like to share your specific circumstances with me before registering, please contact me.

I'm not "artistic" or "creative". OR I don't have art supplies. Can I still complete the course?

Absolutely! I have generated Map-Making Steps to help the process of drafting your maps to be easy and (I hope) enjoyable for you. AND, I believe that we all have creativity and artistry inside of us, even if we haven't been interested in or encouraged to develop these skills. Also, it is absolutely fine for you to complete the weekly maps with a pen or pencil and a sheet of paper. If you have more supplies that you wish to use, great. But you don't have to purchase additional materials in order to generate your maps.

Do I have to have internet access to complete each stage of the class?

No, the Introduction and Conclusion as well as the Weekly Prompts can all be downloaded as PDF documents, allowing you to work wherever and whenever is convenient. You will, though, need an internet connection to access these materials and then to submit the weekly assignments.

If I purchase the class but then don't feel I have time to complete it, can I receive a refund?

After registering for the class and receiving instructions for starting the course, you will have a brief window of 48 hours, to ask for a refund. To do so, please send me an email with a short explanation of why you do not wish to complete the course, and I will issue a refund. After the 48-hour period, a refund will not be available, except in extraordinary circumstances. However, you are welcome to pass along your registration to a friend, family member, or colleague. Please contact me for more information.

Do you provide additional resources or materials related to Grief? 

Yes! We have an ever-growing Grief Resources page , our "To Grieve" Podcast Series, AND we work one-on-one with individuals to help them generate a sustaining and sustainable Creative Grief Practice. We use individual sessions to help our clients tap into their intuition, skills, interests, thoughts about life, death, grief, etc. through activities and exercises. We use this work to help grievers craft their own grief practice. And we offer this work on a Sliding Scale, in order to make it available to as many people as possible. Please contact me with any questions!