Fifty Pet Loss Grief Journal Prompts

Have you thought about journaling as a way to help you process your thoughts and feelings about your pet loss grief?

For some people, writing can be a powerful and effective outlet – we’ve featured a guest blog about it in the past. 

Journaling is often used as a method for practicing mindfulness, which many experts recommend as a tool to help people who are grieving.

Even if you haven’t kept a journal before, it might be something to explore. It truly is a way to take small but meaningful steps through your grief.

What is journaling?

Journaling is quite simply the act of expressing your thoughts and feelings in writing. Unlike a diary, a journal won’t necessarily tie in to the chronological events happening in your life.

Although you can type a journal, many feel that handwriting your thoughts enables you to connect more consciously to what you’re writing.

  • Morning pages

Some people like to approach journaling without a topic in mind. 

In the iconic book The Artist’s Way, the author Julia Cameron recommends a practice of writing “morning pages” at the start of every day, i.e. three pages of long-hand writing that are strictly a stream of consciousness.

The idea is that you write whatever comes into your mind without a filter. 

Morning pages aren’t intended to be art, they aren’t written for anyone else to read. They’re more like a brain drain where you pour out your innermost thoughts – the good, bad and mundane – on to paper to help make sense of them.

  • Ad hoc journaling

Other people prefer to approach journaling on a more ad hoc basis, writing whenever the mood takes them, rather than every day. 

If you find the blank pages of your journal daunting, journal prompts can give you a starting point to see where your thoughts take you.

50 grief journal prompts

To help you, we’ve put together a list of 50 journal prompts all focusing on your grief for your beloved pet. You don’t need to do them in order. Have a scan through and see which prompt resonates the most with your emotions today.

  1. Today I am missing…
  2. I am feeling …
  3. To allow these feelings to transform into something else, I am willing to …
  4. The hardest part of the day is …
  5. My favourite memory …
  6. A smell that reminds me of you …
  7. 10 words that describe you …
  8. What I wish I could tell you …
  9. How losing you changed me …
  10. When I think about you, I …
  11. Our favourite thing to do together …
  12. I need more …
  13. I would prefer less …
  14. Today, I feel …
  15. If you were here now …
  16. What stage of grief do you feel you’re at?
  17. When I need you most, I can call on …
  18. What helps me remember you …
  19. If you could see me now …
  20. Every time I see _________ I think of you
  21. I choose to remember you by …
  22. How you left us…
  23. Write your loved one’s story …
  24. Things I’ve learnt about myself since you passed away …
  25. What I find the most difficult to cope with …
  26. Are you able to freely talk about your loved one?
  27. I find it difficult to _________ since you’ve been gone
  28. A quote that makes me think of you …
  29. The signs I see that make me think of you …
  30. The kind things people say …
  31. Life without you is …
  32. Things I do to honour you …
  33. I am ready to feel …
  34. A simple activity that could help make today easier …
  35. My support system includes …
  36. I feel most connected to you when …
  37. I find it most helpful when …
  38. You had a way of making me feel …
  39. A creative thing I can do to celebrate you …
  40. If I could be like you in one way, it would be that I would …
  41. The most important thing you taught me …
  42. If today was a good day, why?
  43. Today, I remembered …
  44. Are there ways to express grief that you’ve found helpful in the past?
  45. The feelings I am looking forward to having again
  46. The feelings I want to leave behind
  47. Do I feel comfortable asking for help? If not, why not?
  48. What I love about you
  49. Five ways I can be kinder to myself today
  50. Why my life is better because of our time together

The benefits of journaling

While journaling isn’t for everyone, it’s definitely worth keeping an open mind about writing a grief journal.

The New York Times reported that journaling has many scientifically-proven benefits, including improving your sleep, boosting your immune system and lifting your self-confidence (all things that can take a hit when you’re grieving).

Amazingly, one study even found that expressive writing such as journaling can even make physical wounds heal faster, probably because it lowers stress hormones such as cortisol.

A landmark study by Dr James W Pennebaker in 1988 found that people who journaled about traumatic or disturbing experiences, such as grief, at least four times a week for six weeks experienced more positive moods and fewer illnesses than people who just wrote about every day events.

Pennebaker’s recommendation is that we each try journaling for 15 to 20 minutes at a time, four times a week. He counsels against every day because it’s important not to ruminate too much when you’re going through a challenging time with grief.

Writing when it’s difficult to talk

Pet loss grief is hard. Writing a journal can offer a sounding board for your feelings, even ones that you’re struggling to share with your support network.

Hopefully, the journal prompts above will give you some starting points if you want to write about your grief in all of its forms. 

Journaling may also help you to rediscover happy memories of your pet and shift your focus eventually to what you gained from loving your pet rather than what you have lost.

As always, know that you’re not alone.

Shailen and The Ralph Site team
The Ralph Site, non-profit pet loss support

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