1. Health
Send to a Friend via Email

Grief Journal Prompts

How to Get Started When the Blank Page Makes Journaling Seem Too Difficult

By

Updated March 12, 2012

Grief Journal Prompts
Photo © Alison Gootee/Getty Images

So, you’ve decided to try journaling as part of your emotional recovery from pregnancy loss. Maybe you’ve even written a few entries. But now you’re having trouble. What are you supposed to say? How do you know if you’re doing it right?

First of all, there is no right way to journal. As long as you’re expressing yourself, you’re doing it right. The single most important thing is just taking the time to write down a bit about your thoughts and feelings. There are many types of journals, and if you’re stuck, you might want to try another creative outlet.

However, when you’re dedicated to writing, there are many prompts to get you started if you’re having trouble. You might even find prompts a fun and challenging exercise as your journal progresses.

Just remember not to worry if you’re getting it “right.” There are no grades in grief journaling! Just jump in and try your hand at some of these ideas.

Jumping Off Words

Sometimes, what you need is just those first few words to get you started. Here is a selection of ideas that might open up a whole new side of yourself.

  • One year from today, I will be…
  • Today, I learned…
  • The day I got the news about my baby, I was…
  • The day my baby was born…
  • On the day my baby died…
  • I feel ______, and I think I need to…
  • I miss my baby most when…
  • I’m most sad that I’ll never…
  • I never got to tell my baby…
  • Something that reminds me of my baby is…
  • My favorite thing about being pregnant was…
  • I think of you every time I…

Some Unique Ways of Writing

  • Poem – Whether it has a formal structure or is more freestyle, putting together words to make something beautiful can be a wonderful way to express yourself.

  • Dream – Write down your dreams. Another way to think of this is to write out your dreams for your future.

  • Gratitude – Writing about what you’re thankful for in your life can help you focus on the positive in your life and bring you some moments of joy in your bereavement.

  • Memory snapshots – If you were able to spend some time with your baby, even if it was after death, you might want to write an in-depth account of your moments with your baby.

  • Unsent letters – A letter to your baby, or to anyone else in your life with the freedom of knowing you won’t send it, will give you the freedom to be as honest as you want. Some journals are done entirely in this style.

  • Timed entry – Set a timer for 10 or 15 minutes and don’t let your pen come off your paper until the time is up. You’ll be amazed what comes out when you’re on a deadline.

  • Reaction journaling – Try looking at photographs, especially if you have photos of your baby, and write down the way it makes you feel.

  • Time capsule – Document some of the details of everyday life from the time of your baby’s death. From the headlines, to the top songs, to the cost of a gallon of gas, someday you’ll look back on your time capsule and marvel at how much the world has changed.

  • Lists – Most people feel comfortable writing a list. The trick is to try a few different themes. You can go focus on something directly related to your grief process, such as a list of names you’d considered for your baby, or you can use a list to focus on the positive and look ahead to the future.

    Some ideas for lists:
    • places you want to travel
    • 10 things you love
    • your greatest accomplishments/achievements
    • heroes
    • bucket list
    • baby names
    • pet peeves
    • best books you ever read

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.

We comply with the HONcode standard
for trustworthy health
information: verify here.