Life can’t always be rosy. Sorrowful events occur as part of the natural ebb and flow of life. But as much as we know this, it is still hard to deal with these sad situations.
Grief and the grieving process is natural.
When we lose someone we experience a range of emotions. It is important to not shun those feelings but to work through them.
You can also be a friend to someone who is grieving and help them through this difficult time.
The prompts you will find in this article focus on grief from different angles – for healing, for helping others dealing with grief, for creating energy flow, plus other prompts you may find beneficial.
Read through all 80 prompts or focus on one or two categories that are specific to your situation.
By reading the prompts, reflecting on them, and then writing about them in your journal, you will gain a better understanding of why you are grieving, and of how you can work through your feelings.
20 Journal Prompts To Help You Heal
When we lose someone who was dear to us, we experience any number of feelings from sadness to longing, from guilt to anger.
Working through these feelings is important so that you can remember the person and the role they played in your life in a positive way.
You also need to reach the point of acceptance. Accepting the death of someone close can be incredibly difficult, and it is natural to feel angry about the hole that’s been left in your heart and in your life.
How do you pick up the pieces? How do you create a new life without that individual in it? How do you keep their memory alive yet move forward with your life?
There are so many feelings and so many questions.
The healing journaling prompts in this category will help you to work through some of these feelings and questions.
You may be drawn to the prompt to write down things you loved about the person, and reflect on which trait was your favorite.
Perhaps you want to spend time thinking about what your future may look like, and begin planning a new life for yourself.
You might want to let your thoughts dwell on the funeral, the gravesite, and the special moments, the special people of that day.
Read the following list and see which prompts strike a chord with you.
1. “What are your thoughts about the future? How have your plans changed? What can you see yourself doing a year from now?”
2. “Have you visited, or will you be visiting the grave or memorial? What is your reason for doing this? Do you think it will help you to heal?”
3. “When you think of your loved one, what is the first emotion you experience?”
4. “What do you miss most about the person who died?”
5. “Do you have any regrets about how you treated the person who died? How do you think they would feel about this?”
6. “What’s your favourite memory of your loved one? Write about a special time you shared with them.”
7. “Write about the last time you were happy. Does it seem like a long time ago? Can you imagine being that happy again in the future?”
8. “What would you say if your loved one was sitting next to you right now? If that is too difficult to think about, write a letter to them telling them how you feel.”
9. “Write down 10 things you loved about them. What was your favourite thing about them?”
10. “What do you think happens after death?”
11. “How has this loss changed your life? How is your life daily life different? What adjustments have you had to make to the way you live?”
12. “Do you prefer to grieve by yourself? Are you able to allow others to help you during this process? Can you see a way forward in your grief? In what ways will the way you grieve change?”
13. “What advice would you give to someone who has lost someone they love? Are you able to follow your own advice?”
14. “Write about your experience of the funeral or memorial service. Was it how you expected it to be? Did someone support you throughout the service? Did you feel any different after the service?”
15. “Write about the moment you were told of the death. Where were you? What were you doing? Can you remember what thoughts were in your head at the time?”
16. “How do you think the person who died would want you to move on after their death? Can you imagine yourself doing that?”
17. “What has been the hardest part about this whole experience and why?”
18. “What are the things that remind you of them? Are they a comfort to you?”
19. “What are your thoughts about death in general? Are you afraid of dying?”
20. “How do you want to remember this person? How do you think they would want to be remembered?”
25 Journal Prompts For Ones Dealing With Grief
People often experience increased emptiness and loneliness after the funeral or celebration of life is over.
Friends and family have returned to their own lives, and you may not see them for a while.
Grief doesn’t just abruptly end when the ceremony is done. In fact, this could bring one of the most difficult times for a partner or good friend.
The prompts in this category deal with those feelings that continue on sometimes long after the loved one has passed.
Even years after we have lost someone we can be reminded of them suddenly by something we see or hear, and that can cause the feelings of grief to resurface.
In the following list of prompts there are practical ideas for focussing on your well-being, such as:
List three ways you can be compassionate with yourself today.
How can you take care of your physical health today?
I need more of…
There are also excellent prompts that help you to reflect on the person you have lost:
What was your loved one’s favorite holiday? How can you celebrate and remember them on this day?
Write a letter to your loved one about anything you want.
There may be some negative feelings you are harboring towards the individual that you need to work through.
You may also be aware of someone else who is going through what you have gone through, and you may want to write about how you can help them.
This can be very therapeutic.
21. “Write down a funny memory you have of the person you lost”
22. “One thing I want to remember is…”
23. “What are some ways you’ve expressed grief in the past, and were they helpful?”
24. “Write down a comforting memory you have about the person you lost”
25. “Today, I miss…”
26. “If I could forgive myself for something, it would be…”
27. “How can you take care of your physical health today?”
28. “List three activities that always make you feel good, even in the hard moments”
29. “What songs make you think of the person you miss?”
30. “What have you felt most afraid of since you lost your loved one?”
31. “Have you dreamed about the person you lost? Write down what happened in the dream”
32. “What was your loved one’s favorite holiday? How can you celebrate and remember them on this day?”
33. “Describe your loved one in 10 words”
34. “I need less of…”
35. “Write a letter to your loved one about anything you want”
36. “Come up with a mantra you can say to yourself when a wave of grief comes on”
37. “This experience has taught me…”
38. “Write about a time you had difficulty getting along with the person you lost”
39. “Do you feel comfortable asking for help? Why or why not?”
40. “List three ways you can be compassionate with yourself today”
41. “Who else do you know who is grieving? How can you support each other?”
42. “Name a few things you engage in that you know aren’t good for your mental health, especially during this time, and”
43. “I need more of…”
44. “If you could tell your loved one about your day, what would you tell them?”
45. “Who is your support system?”
21 Journal Prompts For Energy Flowing
Getting in touch with your feelings, and expressing them in different ways can be very helpful.
In this category of prompts you are encouraged to write about your sadness, happy memories, feelings of loneliness, how you can honor your loved one, and other expressions of feelings.
Sometimes when we have uncomfortable or negative emotions within us like sadness or anger, we try to bury those feelings instead of letting them come to the surface and allowing ourselves to experience them.
Journaling is an effective way to experience those emotions.
Writing about what you are having a particularly hard time with, or what you are really missing about that person on this day allows you to work through that.
We can also write about ways we can celebrate and honor our loved ones.
My father had been a long-time member of a church. He had been a member since he was a baby, and the church played an important part of his life throughout.
When he passed away my mother cherished the commemoration of his many years devoted to singing in the choir.
The plaque on the wall behind where dad sat in the choir loft still brings comfort to Mom.
In addition, Mom had a tree planted on the church grounds. This is a visible reminder for our family of the kind of life dad lived, and his dedication to the church.
This is an example of how feelings that we experience when we lose someone can be channeled in a positive way.
46. “I am ready to feel…”
47. “The hardest time of day is…”
48. “To allow these feelings room to transform into something else, I am willing to…”
49. “Whenever I start to feel overwhelmed by pain, regret, guilt, or despair, I will repeat this mantra:”
50. “I am having a hard time with…”
51. “My support system includes…”
52. “I find it helpful when…”
53. “A comforting memory of my loved one is…”
54. “I have been feeling a lot of…”
55. “I can honor my loved one by…”
56. “If I could be like my loved one in any way, I would adopt their…”
57. “I could use a little less…”
58. “I feel most connected to my loved one when I…”
59. “To be more compassionate toward myself, I am willing to try…”
60. If I were to ask for help, who might I ask and what would I ask for specifically?
61. A simple activity or non-activity I could try today to make things easier is…
62. Today, I am really missing…
63. I could use some more…
64. Is there someone else who is hurting, and is there something I could do to show them I care?
65. My loved one had a way of making me feel…
66. One way I can express this feeling (or these feelings) in a creative way is…
14 More Journal Prompts On Grief
Our last list of journal prompts provides you with additional ideas that may speak to what is weighing on your heart and your mind.
At times of grief we often look to faith to give us strength.
There are a number of prompts which include God, and these may be of particular benefit for you if you have such a belief.
There are also prompts to help you work through your greatest fears and worries.
If any of these prompts speak to you, embrace them and use them to reflect, write and continue moving forward on the path of healing.
67. “What answer to prayer have you seen this week?”
68. “Mornings are hard because ….”
69. “How has grief affected your confidence?”
70. “How has God revealed himself to you this week?”
71. “What new story has someone shared about your beloved?”
72. “What is one of the most helpful things someone has said to you?”
73. “How are you feeling physically? What is helping you feel better physically as you navigate grief?”
74. “What is something you miss no one else might understand?”
75. “What is your biggest struggle? How are you leaning on God in this struggle?”
76. “What places are hard to visit right now? What places bring comfort?”
77. “What event are you dreading right now?”
78. “Where do you feel weak today? How have you seen God’s strength in your weakness?”
79. “What is your biggest fear right now? Is there a lie underneath that fear or is it based in truth? If you can identify a lie, how does God’s truth combat that lie?”80 “What worship song is bringing comfort or helping you process your loss?”
80. “What worship song is bringing comfort or helping you process your loss?”
Frequently asked questions
How can journaling prompts help with grief?
Journaling prompts provide a structured way to express and process your feelings of grief. They guide you through introspection, allowing you to explore your emotions, memories, and thoughts, ultimately aiding in healing and finding coping mechanisms.
Are these journaling prompts suitable for all stages of grief?
Yes, these prompts are designed to be versatile and adaptable to various stages of grief, whether you’re experiencing shock, anger, sadness, or acceptance. They can be tailored to your specific needs and emotions as you navigate your grief journey.
Can journaling replace professional grief counseling or therapy?
While journaling prompts can be a valuable tool for self-reflection and healing, they are not a substitute for professional help. If you’re struggling with intense or prolonged grief, it’s important to seek support from trained counselors, therapists, or mental health professionals who specialize in grief and loss.
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