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The reasons to try journaling through your grief are numerous. Here are just a few:


  1. By putting thoughts on a page, you are giving your thoughts a voice.

  2. The pages of your journal will never judge you. It is a safe place for expression.

  3. Writing allows you to reflect on emotions that you are experiencing.

  4. Reading your thoughts will help you gain perspective on your feelings.



  1. Buy a journal. Journals come in many different shapes, sizes, and quality, with lined or unlined pages. Some lock, some do not. Some have coils. Some will lie flat when open, yet others will not. Choose one that suits you.  


  2. Decide whether you are writing on every page, or every other page.


  3. Open to a fresh page and write the date on the page. This may seem insignificant, but when you look back at how much your perspective has changed, you may want to remember the date.


  4. Ignore your spelling and grammar. Focus on getting your words and emotions flowing.


  5. Choose something to write with that makes you comfortable. It doesn’t matter if it is a crayon or an expensive pen.


  6. Be prepared to tell your journal the truth!



There are no rules about where, when or how often you should write in your journal.

Maybe writing will only fit into your schedule at bedtime every day.

Maybe you have a quiet space on your patio to write first thing in the morning.

Maybe you only want to write on Sunday nights to begin your week.


Start with a 5-10 minute free write. A free-write is when you commit to writing about a topic for the entire length of time. Set a timer. Most importantly, do not stop writing. If you run out of new ideas, repeat one. 

  • Write about anger.

  • Write about what it means to be a parent.

  • Write about gratitude.

  • Describe your child’s face.


    Start with stems. These can be used as free-write topics as well.


  • I wish. . .

  • Today I am feeling . . .

  • A person who can help support me is ____, I need him/her to . . .

  • In ten years, I see myself . . .

  • As part of my self-care plan, I am going to . . .


    Write in response to a quote or a verse of scripture.


  • Blessed are those who mourn, they shall be comforted. Matthew 5:4

  • God grant me the serenity
    to accept the things I cannot change;
    courage to change the things I can;
    and wisdom to know the difference. -Reinhold Niebuhr (1892-1971)

  • “To live in the hearts of those we lose is not to die” – Thomas Campbell

  • “There are no quick fixes to grief. No easy answers. Every expression of grief that wants to be felt and honored and given its space, must be allowed in order to heal.” – Tom Zuba


    If you do not really enjoy writing paragraphs, consider starting with a list.


  • List your child’s favorite foods. 

  • List your child’s favorite movies.

  • List your child’s favorite activities.

  • Describe your child with ten adjectives.


    Write about a photograph.

  • Choose a photograph of your child. Write in detail using all of your senses about the day.What smells, sounds and sights can you recall?


    Choose one memory of your child and describe it to someone who was not there.

  • Write about your child’s last birthday.

  • Write about the day of your child’s birth.

  • Write about the last holiday you spent with your child.


    Listen to a song.

  • Describe all of the memories or emotions you associate with it.


Do you have a journal topic you'd like to share?

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