05/06/2015 01:14 EDT | Updated 05/06/2015 01:59 EDT

Empathy Cards That Go Way Beyond The Superficial Sentiments

Emily McDowell

If someone you love has ever gone through a serious illness, you know the roller coaster of emotions experienced — and the complete meaninglessness of the usual cards you find in the hospital gift shop to express what you want to say.

Fortunately, Los Angeles-based artist Emily McDowell has come up with brutally honest empathy cards for exactly those situations and they just happen to look completely gorgeous as well.

As McDowell notes on her site, the company wants to make cards to "identify universal, emotional truths and observations on being human, and turn them into products that speak to people."

This particular project is personal to McDowell, as she explains on her blog, she was diagnosed with stage 3 Hodgkin's lymphoma at age 24. Though she's been cancer-free for 14 after going through nine months of chemotherapy and radiation, the hardest part of her sickness 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 realizing it."

Take a look at the refreshing and sometimes difficult truths McDowell manages to evoke in just a few simple statements, graciously giving people the words they wish they could write for themselves.

(h/t Bored Panda)


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