I love my journal. I keep it with me all the time, and I attempt to write at least a sentence in it every day. I also love writing here on my Letters to Jonah blog, but the experience of sitting quietly with paper and a pen is just completely different. It can be done outside on a bench, in bed, in front of the fireplace, on the couch, in the bathtub (carefully), at a coffee shop – anywhere. All those different places seem to provide me with different levels/types of inspiration, too.
Whether you love writing or it’s not something you’re into, when you’re dealing with the intense grief, sadness, and confusion of losing a baby through miscarriage, stillbirth or newborn illness, it can be ridiculously helpful to try to expel some of those difficult thoughts and feelings onto paper. Writing can help you both express and understand your feelings, in a time when you desperately need that outlet.
The question is, what do you write? If you’re the kind of person who needs prompting to write, you’re not alone – especially when you’re experiencing the brain fog that comes with baby loss. There are definitely times when I open my journal and just stare at a blank page. There have even been times where I start crying over my thoughts before I even get any of them out, and just give up on writing for the day at that point.
And you know what? That’s totally okay. Journaling does not come with hard and fast rules: it’s whatever you need and want it to be. The most important piece of grieving is being gentle with yourself. There’s no guilt involved with forgetting to journal for a couple days, or buying a new journal and not even opening it for weeks…whatever happens, happens. Journaling should be helpful, not anxiety-inducing.
That said, writing even just a couple sentences each day (or close to each day) can be illuminating, peaceful and comforting. It can be a couple minutes each day that you have set aside for yourself and your thoughts. Honoring that space for yourself is really important in times of grief. For me, that space I make for myself is really the only time during the day where I feel completely at ease and in tune with discovering the “new me.”
If you want to try writing every day, I’d suggest first purchasing yourself a lovely journal that you like. There’s just something about cracking open a beautiful journal that inspires you to write and fill it with both beautiful and heart-wrenching thoughts.
Now, here are some daily prompts to try! Pick and choose the same one(s) every day, or alternate, or whatever you’d like. The rules are up to you!
- What will you do for yourself today?
- Set an intention for today. What will you focus on?
- Write down your schedule for the day.
- Make a list of self-care ideas: What heals you? Refer back to this list when you need ideas.
- What are you looking forward to today?
- How are you feeling this morning?
- What gave you light today?
- What did you learn about yourself today?
- How did you mother your baby today?
- What was your grief like today? Rate it from 1 to 10, 1 being “I could barely get out of bed” and 10 being “My grief and I got along well today”
- Write a letter to your baby about the day.
- Did anything inspire you today?
Have prompts that you use every day? As a loss mom, have you found comfort in journaling?