Writing through grief is as old as scripture itself. The Bible is filled with personal grief, prayers of grief, questions in grief, and lament in books like Genesis, Job, the and the Psalms. Even Jesus’ grief is recorded in the Gospels. While our culture may be uncomfortable with loss, God is not. He welcomes your grief.
When life has shattered with loss, grief journaling provides a meaningful way to process grief. Days into my own grief, I picked up a half-used journal from my husband’s bedside table, turned to a new page and began to spill out all that was going on in my heart and head. I didn’t know then I was creating a grief journal or that science backs up the signficant benefits of journaling through the grief journey. I only knew I needed help processing my hard emotions and broken heart.
What do you write in a grief journal?
There are no right or wrong topics for a grief journal. Like the Bible, journal entries can describe your emotions, struggles, fears, prayers, questions and personal lament. If you want more of a guided grief journal, grief journal prompts like those below can help.
You need only some quiet time to yourself, a pen and a blank journal (I like these large leather-like journals or these lined Christian Arts journals). While writing on your laptop or phone can work, studies show that writing with pen and paper has benefits typing on a computer doesn’t.
As my grief has changed, my journaling has changed as well. My early grief journals reflect the grueling pain, overwhelm and fear of the future I had. Though I knew God would be faithful, it was hard work to get my heart and the thoughts that seemed to be on repeat to catch up to God’s promises. Journaling allowed me to spill out my despair and exchange it for God’s truth. My journals capture my utter weakness and God’s strength as He walked me through the darkest valley. They’re an indelible record of all God did in me and around me in my brokenness.
I’ve curated more than 50 grief journal prompts to help you begin to process your own grief journey and capture God’s faithfulness through it all.
50 Grief Journal Prompts
1.What Bible verse is bringing you comfort?
2. What event are you dreading right now?
3. What answer to prayer have you seen this week?
4. What worship song is bringing comfort or helping you process your loss?
5. What new story has someone shared about your beloved?
6. What places are hard to visit right now? What places bring comfort?
7. How has God revealed himself to you this week?
8. What is something you miss no one else might understand?
9. What is your biggest struggle? How are you leaning on God in this struggle?
10. How has grief affected your confidence?
11. Mornings are hard because ….
12. Evenings are hard because…..
13. What is your biggest fear right now? Is there a lie underneath that fear or is it based in truth? If you can identify a lie, how does God’s truth combat that lie?
14. How are you feeling physically? What is helping you feel better physically as you navigate grief?
15. Where do you feel weak today? How have you seen God’s strength in your weakness?
16. What is one of the most helpful things someone has said to you?
17. What is one of the most hurtful things someone has said to you?
18. The Bible is filled with lament — crying out to God with your pain, questions, overwhelm and then staking your trust in God. Write your own lament to God and your trust in God even in this suffering.
19. What decision are you facing that you need to work through? Write out the fears, challenges, unknowns, pros and cons for the decision.
20 .What has surprised you in grief?
21. Where do you see joy right now?
22. What is making you smile right now?
23. How has God personally provided for you this week?
24. Do you have any regrets? How does God’s sovereignty and forgiveness help you process these regrets?
25. List 7 things you can thank God for today.
26. What are the secondary losses you are experiencing? List them out and acknowledge the breadth and depth of your loss.
27. Where do you need practical help? Who can you ask for help?
28. How are you giving yourself grace in this season?
29. How is stress showing up most in your eating, sleeping, physical symptoms, or otherwise? What steps can you take to manage that stress?
30. How are you resting to give yourself space to grieve?
31. How has this loss affected your friendships? Has it deepened some or made it harder to connect with some? What can you do to continue the friendships that mean the most?
32. What traditions do you want to continue?
33. Is there a tangible way you can honor your loved one?
34. What is giving you hope right now?
35. What worry are you carrying today that you can give to God?
36. What is God teaching you through this grief journey?
37. Who can you pray for as you walk your road of grief?
38. What truth(s) has God shown you through your grief journey?
39. What would you tell your loved one if you could tell them something about you right now?
40. Do you need to forgive someone as part of your grief journey? Do you need to seek your own forgiveness? Write out a prayer of forgiveness.
41. Where do you need a breakthrough? Describe that place and ask God to bring about a breakthrough.
42. What does a tsunami wave of grief feel like when it hits? How are you learning to navigate those deep waves of grief?
43. What is one of the hardest grief words for you? Why?
44. How has God’s promise of heaven changed you and/or your grief?
45. How are you struggling with anger in your grief? What do you know to be true about the root of that anger and what is a lie from the enemy?
46. How is God meeting you through His Word in your grief? What book of the Bible has been particularly helpful?
47. What 10 words would you use to describe your loved one?
48. In the midst of your grief and loss are hard, what are you deeply grateful for?
49. What small (or big!) win can you celebrate today?
50. What would you tell your friend if she was going through the kind of grief you are right now?
51. Who has helped you in this season of grief? How have they helped?
52. God keeps track of all your tears and collects them in a bottle. When is it easy to cry? When is it hard to cry?
53. How do you feel about the future? What promise from God are you clinging to about your future?
Mary Ann Miller says
My Mother passed away when I was 3 weeks old, so I never knew her. And here at 74 years old, I cannot stop thinking about her, like what she was like, etc.(I wonder sometimes why I didn’t ask my brother and my father about her,(Maybe because my father remarried twice(when I was 3 and 18) and I would be hurting him if I asked too many questions. Plus now I question myself why I didn’t ask my GodMother and her Mother(myGreat aunt, who raised me till I started school) Perhaps it didn’t bother me as much as it does now!
Jennifer Muller says
As facilitator of the GriefShare program at my local church, I like to provide supplemental resources for my group. This is a fantastic resource! Thank you!
My grief journals were plain old composition notebooks. In addition to the things you mentioned, I would write, in long form, scripture verses I was reading that stood out to me. Sometimes I had a hard time comprehending it and pulling together original thoughts on it due to grief fog. I knew it was important and wanted to be able to look back on it later.