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21 Grief Journaling Prompts to Get the Healing Energy Flowing

21 Grief Journaling Prompts to Get the Healing Energy Flowing

Through grief journaling, we take small but solid and honest steps forward, which is the only way through grief (we can’t sidestep the work of grieving and healing; it is truly hard and heart work). From the pages of my own journal, I’m offering some prompts to encourage those steps inward and forward.

“Every great loss demands that we choose life again. We need to grieve in order to do this. The pain we have not grieved over will always stand between us and life… Grieving allows us to heal, to remember with love rather than pain. It is a sorting process. One by one you let go of the things that are gone and you mourn for them. One by one you take hold of the things that have become a part of who you are and build again.” — Rachel Naomi Remen, M.D.

This quote reminds me of my dad when he told me that “we rebuild, together” — his response when I asked how I was going to make it through a really rough breakup.

Dad’s words (always so full of wisdom) still echo in my heart, and I consult them often whenever I need some divine guidance.

We can bear much more than we think we can, but we need to be able to share the natural feelings of suffering. But if we don't express the depth of what we're going through, how can we rebuild?

Grief journaling is one way of allowing ourselves the space for genuine healing to take place, whether or not we’re ready and willing to express ourselves to others.

Though the practice of sitting with a pen, pad, and our own presence, we make a statement to the universe: “I am willing to heal.”

“It’s called grief work because finding your way through grief is hard work,” explains bereavement counselor Marty Tousley, “and if you put it off, like a messy chore it will sit there waiting to be done.”

Marty also relates the work of grieving to “a long, winding tunnel whose entrance is closed behind you, and the only way out is through.” How true, and the only way through is your way through.

Through grief journaling I've learned that though I hurt, I don’t have to become the pain or be destroyed by it; I can even learn from and guide it.

These prompts can help you get in touch with what’s showing up for you so you can better show up for the healing. I suggest printing them out or writing them out and then taking your time to answer whichever ones you feel up to today.

21 Grief Journaling Prompts to Awaken & Allow Healing Energies

1. Today, I am really missing…

2. I am having a hard time with…

3. The hardest time of day is…

4. I have been feeling a lot of…

5. To allow these feelings room to transform into something else, I am willing to…

6. I could use some more…

7. I could use a little less…

Grief journaling is a therapeutic offering of compassion, a true gift of possibility.

8. I am ready to feel…

9. A simple activity or non-activity I could try today to make things easier is…

10. If I were to ask for help, who might I ask and what would I ask for specifically?

11. My support system includes…

12. I find it helpful when…

13. I feel most connected to my loved one when I…

14. A comforting memory of my loved one is…

When we sincerely contemplate what we can do from this place to participate in our own healing, miracles are summoned.

15. My loved one had a way of making me feel…

16. One way I can express this feeling (or these feelings) in a creative way is…

17. If I could be like my loved one in any way, I would adopt their…

18. I can honor my loved one by…

19. Whenever I start to feel overwhelmed by pain, regret, guilt, or despair, I will repeat this mantra:

20. To be more compassionate toward myself, I am willing to try…

21. Is there someone else who is hurting, and is there something I could do to show them I care?

. . .

Tell me:

Which of these prompts did you need the most today?

Tell me in the comments. I read every single one, and I’d love to know!

All love,


P.S. Need more light today? See what else I've written about loss and possibility. You might find exactly what you need.

Comments on this post (14)

  • Aug 01, 2021

    Yannaa, so much love to you for your father and all that you’re carrying now. There are some things that time doesn’t quite heal. For all those things, may we find love and purpose even still. Big hugs and my love. x

    — Jennifer Williamson

  • Aug 01, 2021

    2. I am having a hard time with constant loneliness no matter who is around and the silence.

    My wife passed away out of nowhere and I’ve been unable to adjust at all. From our first date we spent every day together and did everything with each other. She was my best friend and partner. We didn’t even manage to make it to our first anniversary. She was so excited for our future together and it was gone in an instant. I don’t know how to move forward without her and don’t really want to.

    — A

  • Jun 04, 2021

    Hi my dad passed away last year from the virus.. 2 weeks before lockdown and a week before I turned 21. We had plans … but those got canceled for life. I moss him so much and I really need to find another way to cope. My fiancé and him had the best bond… I’m so happy they got to met. They met when we were 15 and now we’re 22.

    — Yannaa

  • Dec 27, 2020

    Emily, thank you for sharing because so many of us are probably feeling the same way, or will feel this at some point, when things need changing up. Ask for what you need when the time feels right. And if the change can only include what you do on your own, let that be a start. Sending you wishes of comfort, strength, and light in the new year.

    — Jennifer Williamson

  • Dec 26, 2020

    Thanks for this. I’m missing my dad. Holidays are especially hard. The one I’m feeling heavily is “I could use less of.” The rest of my family is keeping our holiday tradition the same, which makes it worse for me. (Of course, this year it was difficult to do otherwise though, with sickness, so I understand that.) Next year I’m going to push harder to change things up. It will still be hard, but I think a change in scenery and environment will help.

    The other thing I wanted to mention is when I find prompts too difficult for me to immediately start writing about, I find a song to start me off. It really helps me, might help others.

    Thank you.

    — Emily

  • Sep 21, 2020

    Heather, my heart is with you. Thank you for sharing so opening and honestly here about what you’ve been going through, past and present, with your difficult losses. It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever had to go through, and the journey doesn’t really end – it just morphs as you do. The pain gets more bearable, when you choose to really feel what you’re feeling. You become more grounded, more connected, more intuitive and compassionate, and those qualities carry you forward – but you never leave your loved ones behind. They journey with you. Thank you for being you, for feeling, and for sharing. I believe in what your life can and will be. x

    — Jennifer Williamson

  • Sep 21, 2020

    His jennifer my name is heather i just found this page because i am starting my own grief journal anf i found your page. I just lost my grandma back in may 2020 and im struggling soo hard with it. I cant accept it mostly because i dont want too. Its a struggle to go on about my daily life. I am soo deeply sorry about the loss of your dad. I lost my uncle 22 years ago due to suicide. His death had forever changed my life i was 10 when he died i am now 32 yrs old i struggled for years to come to terms with it loosing someone to suicide is extemely hard as you are left with all the unanswered questions. I felt for years that it was my fault that he was gone that i could of stopped him from ending his life and that he would still be here today. I fought with myself over and over agin in my head trying to convince myself that there was nothing i could of done to stop it from happening i tried to numb those feelings by using drugs only to have those feelings return once i sobered up. I felt hopeless. Knowing the only way anything was going to get any bettet was to feel it. The pain never truly goes away but it gets better over time. Now suffering the loss of my grandma all seems like too much to bare. I still cant believe it. I dont want it to be real. I struggle very hard with depression over loosing her. The question of does this get any easier still lingers heavily on my mind. The grief i feel is sometimes very overwhelming and i wish i could feel happy and move on but its difficult. I dont know how to feel alot of the time. I wont accept because to me accepting her death means letting go and im simply not ready. I hope it gets better for u over time with the death of your father. Just know it was not your fault i am very sorry that you had to loose him that way. My heart goes out to you. I hope you find comfort and serinity with his passing. He is never truly gone he will always be with you. May god bless you and grant you peace.

    Sincerly heather.

    — Heather

  • Aug 17, 2020

    Jennifer, I am deeply sorry for the loss of your father. My heart is with you during this time. Thank you for being so vulnerable and open here, for sharing this most difficult thing, and for being open to what helps you. I pray journaling can be a good part of your support system, as it was and still is for me. You’re more than welcome to email me anytime if you want to express something and know someone will hear you. Sending you all my love. x

    — Jennifer Williamson

  • Aug 17, 2020

    My dad decided to take his own life almost 3 weeks ago, it was completely out of the blue. My days have been filled with all of the “what if’s”, “why’s”, and "how could I have changed this…’ but all in all I usually end up crying and more frustrated/confused than I was before. But thinking of when I feel most connected to my dad it helps me remind myself of the peaceful, fun, and heartfelt kayaking and fishing together, helping people together, him stopping at my house to see my kids whenever him and my mom were close by. He had just turned 56 and I’m almost 25..and I can’t help thinking of all the time we had left. But I’m hoping journaling can help me focus more on the times we did have than the times we’re going to miss out on. Thank you for posting this.

    — Jennifer

  • Jun 15, 2020


    — Nancy

  • Apr 23, 2019

    Skylya, I’m so sorry you feel all this pain right now. I see you and I send you all the love I can through this screen. It’s hard to keep being somewhere when the person we connected with most isn’t there anymore, but you can make it through this. I just want you to know that you’re stronger than you probably give yourself credit for. You’re still here (which is amazing in itself) and even though there’s all this hurt, maybe there’s something you could do, to bring his energy/warmth into the school as a way of honoring him and all he stood for? Not so much do, but BE. Who he was to you… maybe you’re that person to someone else, or could be… Also, you can email me whenever you want, if you want. I’m here. xo ~ jen

    — Jennifer Williamson

  • Apr 23, 2019

    Today I am really missing my school principal. He’s not dead which makes me happy, but still he was like a father to me and he left on sick leave of got fired but I don’t really know. We were super close, I talked to him all the time, he was what I looked forward to going to school for… no he’s gone and somehow I feel like it’s my fault… I’m feeling like I can’t deal with the pain I’m feeling. I cry everyday at least 4 times and this has been going on for three months, I can’t handle it anymore, I do t want to be here without him, I feel useless…

    — Skylya Cress

  • Apr 02, 2019

    Hi Carole, I hope you feel warmth from these words, and from the love left from your dad… that’s in you, woven all through your life, even still. And I hope that coldness turns into something new for you. Love, Jen

    — Jennifer Williamson

  • Apr 02, 2019

    Today I am really missing my Dad. He left us 23 years ago this June. Mom left us 3 months ago, and I am having issues with the coldness that she often made me feel. My Dad always knew just what to say to me when I was feeling sad or hurt. Love you Dad!

    — Carole Farley

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