Grief Journal Child Loss

Journaling to Cope with Child Loss

Journaling was a very helpful tool in navigating the months following the death of our son, Travis Jr.


I, Travis Jr.'s mom, initially started writing in a journal that I already had, but quickly realized that there was so much to process and I wanted to have a journal dedicated exclusively to my son. Thankfully, a friend gifted us a journal, and I spent the next six months expressing myself in that journal.


"Our lives radically changed two weeks ago…," I wrote.


I wrote about the events in the days prior to our son’s death: How we'd had a beautiful baby shower on the Sunday, followed by a great 36-week prenatal appointment on the Tuesday where the doctor said our son was "perfect." And how utterly shocked we were the very next day when we learned that our son stopped moving and no longer had a heartbeat.


I wrote about the five days and five nights that we spent in the hospital with our son. What sacred memories those were.


I wrote about the prayers. The communications with family and friends. The questions. The anger. The sadness. The what-ifs. The hope I felt amidst the circumstances.


Some days I would start writing and then stop shortly after because it felt like too much. Other days, I'd write for hours at a time. Sometimes, I'd go weeks without writing, but would ultimately pick back up the pen to continue the valuable writing process.


Journaling was a beautiful, emotionally involved process in the ongoing healing journey, and I am so glad I took the time and energy to write. Journaling proved to be beneficial for:

  • Self-expression. Journaling offered space to flesh out thoughts and feelings that might have otherwise been bottled up. It allowed me to press into, rather than avoid, the pain. It also served as a "safe place" of no judgment or misunderstanding.
  • Slowing down/organizing thoughts. The death of a child can often feel surreal, and thoughts and emotions may feel scattered and jumbled. Journaling served as a way to organize and better process what happened.
  • Preserving precious memories. After the death of a child, parents are left with memories. However, memories, even important ones about a beloved child, often fade over time. Journaling helped to preserve memories of our son. It served as a tangible record that will continue to tell the story of our son’s life, death, and impact.


Even a year after my son’s death, I went back to my journal and used some of the remaining pages to write about how we were celebrating Travis Jr.’s birthday. I truly cherish this journal that is just for my son.


Beyond personal experience with the benefits of journaling, we know that research also indicates how grief journaling can have many mental and physical health benefits. We are pleased to be able to support grieving parents by offering special journals that serve as both a space to write about and process the pain, as well as a quality keepsake.


Our journals are designed specifically for grieving parents. They have special gold-foil artwork on the front; beautiful linen covers that feel nice to the touch; a dedicated space to write the child’s name on the inside; lots of pages to write, draw, scribble, and process; and a pocket to preserve memories like hospital tags, measuring tapes used to measure a baby’s length at birth, thoughtful sympathy cards, etc.


Have you tried journaling to cope with grief? Feel free to comment below about your journaling experience.

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