Coping with Grief and Loss: Guided Meditations and Journaling

Author: Christina Bach, MBE, LCSW, OSW-C, FAOSW
Content Contributor: Jordan Kotler, MSW, LSW and Joslyn Trovati, MSW, LSW
Last Reviewed:

Staying active in your grief can help you cope with your loss(es). By staying active, we mean engaging with your loss and the feelings and emotions that you are having. It can be hard, and we aren't always ready to do this type of work. But journaling and meditation provide excellent opportunities for us to grow and heal after loss.

Guided Meditations 

Headspace provides a guided meditation specifically about grief.

The Mindfulness and Grief Institute has some more grief-specific guided meditations for you to try. Scroll down on this page to find them, and browse the website to find their other resources.

Mindful.org 10 Minute Guided Meditation for Working with Grief

Mindfulness and Grief Institute offers resources and education about using meditation to help with grief.

See our blog for other mindfulness apps that include specific content about grief.

Journaling Through Grief

Often writing can help us better understand our grief, and keeping those written reflections in a personal journal can be helpful to revisit when we experience grief later on in our lives. Here are some prompts that you can use to get yourself thinking about how cancer-related grief and loss impacts you. Remember there is no right or wrong way to journal. Do what feels comfortable for you. This could mean having a special notebook you journal in or perhaps you sit at a keyboard and type out your words. It can be helpful just to get the words out...on paper or on screen.

Questions to Help Make Sense

  • How did you make sense of the death or loss(es) at the time?
  • How do you interpret the loss(es) now?
  • What philosophical and spiritual beliefs contributed to your adjustment to the loss(es)?
  • Are there ways in which the loss(es) has influenced the direction of your life story? How, across time, have you dealt with this?
  • How, in the long run, do you imagine that you will give the loss(es) meaning?

Questions to Help Find Benefit and Meaning

  • In your view, have you found any unexpected gifts in grief? If so, what?
  • How has this experience affected your sense of priorities? Your sense of yourself?
  • What qualities in yourself have you drawn on that have contributed to your resilience? What qualities of a supportive kind have you discovered in others?
  • What lessons about loving or living have this person(s) or this loss(es) taught you?
  • Has this difficult transition deepened your gratitude for other things in your life?
  • Is there anyone to whom you would like to express heartfelt appreciation?
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