PROMPTS FOR WRITING THROUGH GRIEF
(and other ways of working through it)
In this series about writing through grief (and other ways of working through it), we will explore:
- Introduction to this series
- Grief in special seasons of memory, like winter holidays, birthdays, and other special occasions
- Some ideas and experiences of my own related to dealing with grief
- Prompts and ideas inspired by Crafting the Personal Essay by Dinty W. Moore
- Prompts and ideas inspired by Paulette Perhach’s “30 Days to the Personal Essay” course.
- Prompts and ideas especially suitable for young people (but also helpful for older folks, too)
- Ideas inspired by Julia Cameron’s book The Artist’s Date Book
Some of these postings are quite long, but I hope that in them you may find a few gems that will help you through your journey with grief. And please remember to add your own thoughts, ideas, and prompts in the comments. Thank you so much.
Grief in special seasons of memory, like winter holidays, birthdays, and other special occasions
As it is the winter holiday season—whether for you it is Christmas or Hanukkah another religious tradition or family time or whatever you celebrate–as I write this series of posts, it is a season that for many people struggling with grief only increases their loneliness and sense of loss. The following series of prompts, thoughts, and ideas were inspired in me by “20 Christmas Writing Prompts” https://minds-in-bloom.com/20-christmas-writing-prompts/ I hope they might inspire you in turn to remember precious times with the person you’ve lost, and turn some of your sense of loss and grief into the peace and joy the season offers. (On the other hand, if another time of year is very difficult for you—a birthday, anniversary, a different holiday, or an event that has special memories, perhaps some of these ideas can inspire you at those times).
- Think about last winter holiday (or another special time which you spent with the person for whom you’re grieving). How was your life different then? How did the person bring peace and joy into your life then? How can those memories change the sadness and loss you are experiencing now?
- Create a top 10 list of your favorite Christmas activities with that person. Choose one of those experiences and go out and find someone who is lonely or sad this Christmas. Bring the joy and peace of the season into their life, as a way to honor the person you miss.
- What do you think the person you are missing would have said is the gift they would most want to be given to every child in the world? How does that make you feel about the person you’ve lost? Can you, in some way, share that kind of gift with children in your personal life, or in your community, or somewhere else in the world, in memory of the person you’re missing?
- Write about a very happy winter holiday you spent with the person you have lost. Get into specific details. If possible, find pictures from that time. Then share the story with someone who is also grieving the loss of that person, and which would make their day brighter.
- Is there a favorite movie or book you enjoyed watching or reading with the person you are grieving for? Why not watch or read it again this season? And invite others to join you. Share favorite seasonal foods and traditions together, and invite that person, in your mind and heart, to come and share the time with you all.
- Finish this sentence in 10 different, happy ways: This holiday season I want to remember _______ about this person I have lost.
- What was a favorite gift you once gave that person? Why do you think they loved it so much? What was a favorite gift they gave you? Why was it so special?
- Did that person have a favorite activity or food that you could incorporate into your family traditions for this holiday season, in that person’s memory and honor?
- Special meals are often a very important part of the holiday season and traditions. What would the person you miss like to eat if they were with you this season? Include some of their favorite foods in your holiday menu—and perhaps even set a special place for them, with a picture or a special item that belonged to or recognizes them.
Please share your thoughts and ideas in the comments section. Thank you.