If you have lost a loved one, writing in a journal can be one of the most powerful ways to cope and work toward healing. It encourages you to express and explore the myriad of emotions that accompany grief. Rather than avoiding the reality of the death and extending the grieving process, journaling encourages introspection, which is important in accepting loss and creating a sense of peace. You might not even realize what you are feeling until you sit down to write about it.
There are many mental health benefits of journaling, including reducing stress and coping with anxiety or depression. Journaling provides a healthy outlet when emotions feel overwhelming,which can be common while grieving. Practicing gratitude also helps you focus on the positives in life, so writing about what you are grateful for can provide perspective when times might feel shadowed by your grief.
One of the best parts about journaling is that there is no right or wrong way to do it, and you never even have to let anyone see your work. Sometimes the words will flow out of you without much thought and other times you might feel a bit stuck. Below is a list of grief journaling prompts you can use for inspiration whenever you need it.
• Make a list of your favorite things you did with your loved one. Make another list of what you wish you would’ve done.
• Explain how you are honoring the memory of your loved one in your daily life.
• Tell about the people you have in your support system.
• Pick a color that represents how you are feeling today and explain why.
• Write about the memories of your loved one that seem to be most heavy on your mind.
• Make a list of what you are grateful for today.
• Retell the last moments you remember being with your loved one.
• Write a letter to your loved one about what you have been doing to stay busy lately.
• Answer these questions to consider how your grief is impacting your activities:
• What is the hardest time of day for you and why?
• What is the hardest day of the week for you and why?
• During which daily activities do you find yourself in the densest fog of grief?
• During which daily activities do you find your mind wandering away from your grief?
• What has been your hardest day so far?