50 Journaling Prompts for Grief: Prompts That Really Help

journaling prompts for grief

Going through something? Try out these journaling prompts for grief to help you release the overwhelming feelings you are experiencing right now.

journaling prompts for grief

The Ups and Downs of Life

Life can bring us the heights of light and love, but can also be filled with loss and grief. Grief is where we shall focus today because we can all find ourselves knocked down by something sad or feel pain and loss due to some circumstance. Sometimes these events can have profound consequences, which can be enhanced by any trauma you have already experienced that has not healed. But let us stick with the basics first.

A few types of loss that can induce grief:

  • Loss of the life of a loved one
  • Seeing a loved one hurt in any way
  • Ongoing stressful situations
  • Seeming loss of access to a chosen life path
  • Loss of a relationship (such as a breakup or from a move)
  • Loss of our health
  • Anything above compounded by any other loss even a seemingly insignificant loss can have a compounding effect
  • Facing a shocking reality (resulting in broken trust or disillusionment)

These are just a few examples of course, and certainly there are many, many more reasons for experiencing grief. Just know that it is normal to feel grief and pain after loss and this information is here to help. If you want to know is journaling good for grieving?, read further to see helpful journaling prompts for grief.

Research on the Effects of Loss and Grief

Quite a bit of research has been done on the subject of grief. Often times, the more we understand the grief process, the less crazy or awful we may feel about how we are handling something.

Here are a few helpful notes about grief:

  • Grief can be categorized as normal grief or complicated grief; in complicated grief, the mourning period can turn into a long-term depression where it can be difficult to move ahead.
  • How we grieve can be uniquely individual based upon personality, support system, age, demographics, health history, and other factors such as the type of loss, the suddenness of the loss, the tragedy involved in the loss, etc.
  • While the time immediately following this loss can cause acute pain, usually over time the feelings will change with intensity and frequency; though, important dates can re-open the acute phase of grief.
  • Coping abilities will assist the grief-stricken to weather the trials and storms of life and come out on the other side.

Loss is Loss

No matter what kind of loss you are experiencing, you grief on the matter is real. It can be destabilizing and depending upon your ability to cope can cause more harm in the long run. Grief and loss can also have a compounding effect which is why it is so important to process your pain and sorrow and be gentle and sooth yourself in several different ways. I talk about how to do this the end of this post in the Additional Support Ideas section which are in addition to the journaling prompts for grief.

50 Grief Journal Prompts for the Loss of What was Most Dear

Tools Needed: To get started with these journaling prompts for grief, simply get a journal and writing utensil, and get started! You may be asking, how do you process grief through writing? Well, use these journal prompts to help you do just that.

Prompts to help process grief and loss

Prompts that help explore and process your feelings

1-What feeling am I or have I been avoiding?

2-What feeling(s) comes up when I think about this loss?

3-It’s ok to feel these things because…(finish the sentence)

4-Write about how you ideally want to process these feelings? (Think about your feelings as little children trying to get your attention and what you could offer them to help them feel better)

5-What situations do I need to avoid right now until I am ready, because they bring about my hardest feelings?

Prompts that help you say your goodbyes

6-If you feel sad because you did not get to say goodbye as you would have liked, write what you want to say now.

7-Write out all of the things that this loss means for you. Now write about how those things may be temporary or not last forever.

8-Write about how you can keep the memory of this person kept special way going forward. What do you wish to remember?

9-Imagine that the person you lost writes you a letter back with their own goodbyes. Imagine they wishing you a world of happiness – what do they wish for you? Write it out.

10-Imagine this person or opportunity still being your ally in life now.

Prompts that help you apologize for any guilt or shame that is evoked

11-Write an apology letter to yourself for anything you feel guilty or ashamed of with this loss.

12-Is there anyone you have been harboring angry feelings towards as a result of this loss? Write about the benefits to you for forgiving this person or people.

Prompts that help you think about who to connect with to find support

13-Who have I been pushing away because of my grief? Would they be helpful and loving towards me if I reached out?

14-How have I been treating my significant other/close friends/family during this experience? Is this helping me or hurting me ultimately?

15-Have I been self-isolating because of the pain? Who can I reach out to because of the safety this relationship brings me?

16-Have I been sharing too much with unsafe people who aren’t understanding or empathetic? What do I need to do to protect my heart at this time?

Prompts for different phases of grief

17-Write about what you most need to do right now to support yourself and/or honor the lost person or opportunity.

18-Write about the slivers of joy you may experience here and there and what makes them so meaningful right now.

19-What do you notice about the experience of deep grief and your ability to notice other’s pain?

20-Write about any anger you may feel and how it comes out. Write about compassion and what you need and what you want to give to others.

Prompts for the future

21-What are some plans I can make for the future?

22-What are my goals for the next six months? Year?

23-What qualities of my loved one do I want to take with me in the future?

24-Create a memory box regarding this experience or loved one.

25-Create a scrapbook with pictures that inspire you and touch your heart right now.

Guided grief journaling prompts for the ending of a relationship

26-Journal about what led you into the relationship and what led to its end.

27-Write about the positive you will take with you going forward now that this relationship changed.

28-Write about what you can do to soothe your grief – think especially about your morning and evening routines. What can you do to make these more positive experiences?

29-What reminders of this relationship do you want to keep? What would serve you to let go of?

30-Write about the top three lessons learned from this relationship.

Journal prompts with biblical inspiration

31-What psalm is the most comforting right now?

32-Which biblical person keeps coming to your mind? Read more about their story.

33-What New Testament story will help you endure right now?

34-How does St. Paul’s faith amidst suffering give you helpful example?

35-What is the greater purpose of suffering from a biblical perspective? or, how does God seem to bring about good for those who love Him even amidst loss and pain?

Grief journal prompts general

36-I need more of…

37-I need less of…

38-If the loss was a person, detail the person’s favorite song, their style, their sense of humor and other endearing qualities.

39-If the loss were a path forward in life or a dream, write about why this seemed like the best path for you and what you will miss the most about it.

40-If the loss were a dream opportunity that has been shattered, write about the circumstances that led to this and what pathway might available to you next?

41-While no one or thing can replace what you lost, what is in your life right now that you are grateful for?

42-While the sadness is so heavy, what can you do just for today to get through?

43-When the sadness lessens, what can you do that feels nice?

44-When the sadness lifts more often, what inspires you the most?

45-When you are further away from the grief, were there any blessings that you see looking back that came to you in your moment of need?

46-Who can you learn from someone who also experienced grief?

47-Is anyone else hurting besides you in this situation? Is there a way to build bridges of mutual support?

48-Who comes to mind the most in this grievous situation? Can you write down a poem or a prayer for this person?

49-Are you the first person to go through this situation? If not, what can you learn from how others navigated this space?

50-Who are you now because of this loss? How does it change how you show up in the world?

If it was a Loss of a Child, Your Child, or Infertility

First off, my condolences. These types of losses can be some of the deepest hurts and can really highlight any past traumas experienced which can hinder your ability to heal. These types of losses can also be difficult to find appropriate support for and can be very isolating. The research literature recommends support groups because the shared experiences of the group members can be very healing and cathartic.

Additional Support Ideas for Grief and Loss

Here is a holistic list of additional ideas that might help you further weather this storm. I know, I know, it is easier said than done when you are in a really sad place. The information is here when you are ready for it. Journaling prompts for grief is one place to start, but there are others depending upon what you need most. You deserve the best treatment from yourself when you are dealing with intense sadness.

Low Stimulating Activities – These ideas will help you settle down help your nervous system and process things at the pace it needs right now.

Deep Rest and How to Get It – These ideas will help you also settle down your nervous system and do things that will help you rest.

Additional Journaling Support – These journaling prompts will help remind yourself to be kind to yourself and do what is in your best interest.

Vital Nutrient Support – A stressed out and sad body is one that depletes its nutrient stores faster than a non-stressed out body. Mind your physical health right now.

Morning and Nighttime Routines – Grief has a way of throwing you off your routines. It can pop up at anytime, especially in the morning or evening. Using a simple guide for your morning and evening routines can at least help you take care of essentials while you are feeling extra blue.

Anxiety and Stress Relief – When you are feeling down, life has a way of raining on your parade, which can cause additional stress and anxiety. Check out these tips for helping find stability amidst the chaos of life right now.

Retreating into Safety – Here is my short story about my own personal retreat during a time of grief. I do not get too personal but you can use some of the planning tips to plan your own personal retreat.

Reminder for Your Thoughts – Is it just me or when you are sad you tend to think really negative thoughts as well? This post will help you challenge your negative thinking and find the silver lining and move forward with grace.

Essential Oils for Calming – Essential oils have a powerful psychosomatic effect and can be quite calming. Check out these oils for various uses.

Finally, if your grief persists and you are feeling stuck, do find a trusted counselor, coach or spiritual person who specializes in helping others work through grief and bereavement. If you cannot shake the grief over time, you may benefit from some additional kindness.


Grief is never easy to navigate, but hopefully these free grief journal prompts help you as you navigate this period in your life. Consider using these journaling prompts for grief to create your own grief journal pdf of support as the need arises. Remember, while grief can feel isolating, support is out there and you are never alone. Wishing you blessings.

You may also like...