Wednesday, November 15, 2017

1 Year, 1-a-Week Journal Prompts for Bereaved Parents by Aubin

As a parent who has lost a child I know how hard it can be to work through that grief and pain. When my son Liam was born very sick in 2011, I needed an outlet and a way to remember the ups and downs of the NICU and the CDH journey. I found writing in a journal or even blogging helped me better than anything else. I could be completely honest in my journal without fear of judgment. Sometimes all I needed was to write down all my fears and worries to work past them. So why would my grief be any different? I decided to start actively working through my grief through journaling and wanted to share these prompts with you. If you use all of them, you'll have enough to write one journal entry for a whole year.

1) What would you like other people to know or do after someone loses a child?

2) Describe a time you told someone (who didn't already know) about your loss.

3) What has been confusing during your grief?

4) What has been surprising during your grief?

5) What have you been thankful for during your grief?

6) How did you choose your child's name?

7) What do you now find difficult to do that you didn't before you lost a child?

8) If I could tell my child something, I would say...

9) Some well-meaning but hurtful things people have said or done are...

10) What are some secondary losses from the loss of your child.

11) Try writing your child's story in 100 words or less.

12) What quote or scripture has been meaningful or comforting? Why?

13) Write a bucket list for yourself.

14) Plan something in honor of your child on a day that means something.

15) Write a letter to your child.

16) Write an acrostic poem using your child's name.

17) Make a list of goals for yourself that you hope to accomplish by a year from now or what you would like to be different in a year.

18) Create a word cloud, print it or paste it in your paper journal or on your blog. You can use Wordle or Tagxedo.

19) What have you learned about yourself through the loss of your child?

20) How do you feel different than you did before you lost your child?

21) Have your priorities changed since you lost your child?

22) Pick a common, well-meaning quote someone has said to you. Do you believe that it's true? Why or why not?

23) What do you do when you feel like you're the only one grieving?

24) Has your faith changed? How?

25) What are the ways of grieving you feel society expects of you because you are a man or woman? Do you break these "rules"?

26) Which ways of grieving seem to bring you and your partner closer? Further apart?

27) What is one of your favorite memories from your child's life, even if he/she only lived in the womb?

28) What would you like your friends and family to do to honor and remember your child?

29) Is there anything that happens or anything you do that makes you feel most connected to your child?

30) What song has been meaningful or comforting? Why?

31) Write a list of words that describe your child.

32) If you could keep only one memory of your child, what would it be?

33) When you're having a particularly hard day, week, etc, what do you wish others would understand?

34) What are the questions people asked that you appreciated?

35) How have your relationships changed since you lost your child?

36) Do you have any new fears or worries since you lost your child?

37) How has your response to grief been different from those closest to you?

38) What emotion has been the most overwhelming through your grief?

39) What unanswered questions do you have?

40) What things are you still able to find joy in?

41) "Grief ambushes" are times when you experience a flood of emotions at an unexpected time. Describe some of the grief ambushes you have experienced.

42) Do you think your grief will ever end? Why or why not?

43) Although the Bible shares specific details about heaven, our human understanding is limited. What do you wish you knew about heaven?

44) Identify your own ideas about how you as a man or woman are supposed to "handle" your grief. Are you following these ideas?

45) No one can imagine what it's like to lose a child until they have actually experienced it. Has anything about your grief journey been different than you imagined it would be?

46) Are you doing anything unhealthy in response to grief or are you tempted to?

47) If death is a natural process of life, why do you think so many people act uncomfortable talking about it and various aspects of grief?

48) Identify the physical, emotional, and spiritual needs you have right now.

49) Has anyone said anything that made you feel they were trying to rush you through your grief?

50) How can you use your grief journey to help others?

51) Is anger about the loss of your child a good or bad thing?

52) How has grief impacted you physically?

53) Name a flower than reminds you of your child.

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