Journaling is an excellent technique for coping with loss, but for some people, the idea of putting words to paper can be very intimidating. That doesn’t mean you can’t benefit from this helpful coping technique, however. There are many kinds of creativity, and not everyone will respond to the same journaling technique.
Here you’ll find some alternative journaling ideas. Feel free to try out as many as you’d like as you look for your own way of expressing yourself. Remember, there’s no right way to grieve, and your personal grief style may change over time. You may discover that you enjoy several journaling styles. Whatever helps you work through your grief is the right choice for you.
If your goal is to keep a grief journal, any or all of these methods will help you express yourself. Collect them in a simple three-ring binder, a photo album, or a specially designed journal like those you find in a stationary store. There is no wrong way to journal, as long as you’re doing it for the purpose of helping to clear your mind, and honor your memories.
This is what most people think of when they hear the word “journaling.” Taking a pen to blank paper, and writing out your thoughts and feelings. This can be done in a simple notebook, or a blank document on your computer if you’re more comfortable typing.
There are plenty of women who find comfort in a sense of community. If you decide to go public with your grief journal, there are plenty of blogging platforms available. Blogger, WordPress, LiveJournal, and Tumblr, just to name a few.
Drawing, painting, collages, sculpture…any visual form of art can be just as therapeutic to create as the written word, as long as it’s done mindfully. Find your favorite medium and let thoughts of your baby fill your mind as you work. Each piece will begin to tell a different part of your grief story.
It may seem impossible to use photography as a journaling method when your baby had only a brief life, but you can use your camera to document your feelings in other ways. Look for scenes or objects that speak to you at any given time. You may find yourself seeing the world in a new light.
This is a particular type of visual journal in which you collect photographs and other memorabilia and display it in a creative way. You might start with any photographs and mementoes you have from your baby’s life, but you can continue with your own life experiences once you’ve completed those pages.
You can collect words of wisdom from many places. Song lyrics, famous sayings, words you overhear in your everyday life. If they mean something to you, write them in your quote journal. You can even decorate the pages if you want more time to contemplate each quote.
If you are more musically inclined, you probably already know that different kinds of music speak to you in different moods. There are no doubt songs that already feel significant to you during this time of grief. Whether you play an instrument or sing, and whether you write your own music or prefer to play other people’s music, you can collect all of the songs that mean something to you during this time. Print out the lyrics and put them in a binder, or put them all on a playlist and burn a CD to mark this time in your life.