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  • Writer's pictureDeborah

Supporting Children Through Loss: The Power of Journals

Journals provide a safe space for children to express their thoughts, feelings, and memories


Supporting Children Through Loss

Losing a loved one is an immensely challenging experience for anyone, but for children, the process of grieving can be particularly overwhelming. As adults, it's crucial to provide them with tools and resources to navigate their emotions effectively. One powerful method is through journaling.


Understanding the Importance of Journals in Grief Support

Journals serve as a safe space for children to express their thoughts, feelings, and memories. They provide an outlet for processing emotions and can be especially beneficial when coping with loss. Through journaling, children can explore their grief at their own pace and in their own words. It allows them to reflect on their experiences, remember their loved ones, and find comfort in their memories.


How "Lessons in Loss" Journals Support Children

The journals we’ve created are thoughtfully designed to guide children through their grief journey. With prompts and activities tailored to their age and understanding, these journals offer a structured yet flexible approach to processing loss. Here's how they support children:


1. Encouraging Expression:

The prompts in the journals encourage children to express their feelings openly and honestly. From writing about their favourite memories to drawing pictures of their loved ones, these activities help children externalise their emotions in a constructive way.


2. Discovering Reflection:

Reflection can be a helpful part of grieving, and the journal prompts this. By allowing children to think about how they feel and why they feel that way, the journals help them gain insight into their emotions and coping mechanisms.


3. Building Resilience:

Engaging with the activities in the journal can help children build resilience in the face of loss. By acknowledging their emotions and finding healthy ways to cope, children develop the skills they need to navigate grief and overcome challenges now and in the future.


4. Creating a Keepsake:

Journals also serve as a keepsake for children to cherish. As they fill the pages with their thoughts, feelings, and memories, they create a tangible reminder of their loved ones. This can be incredibly comforting and provide a sense of connection even after their loved one is gone.


Tips for Using "Lessons in Loss" Journals with Children

If you're supporting a child through grief using the "Lessons in Loss" journals, here are some tips to keep in mind:


  • Encourage the child to engage with the journal regularly, whether it's daily, weekly, or as needed. Consistency can help them establish a routine for processing their emotions.

  • Be available to listen and offer support as the child works through the journal activities. Let them know that it's okay to feel sad, angry, or confused and reassure them that you're there for them.

  • Grieving is a personal journey, and everyone processes loss differently. Respect the child's pace and let them lead the way in how they engage with the journals.

  • Celebrate the child's progress as they work through the journals. Acknowledge their bravery in confronting difficult emotions and commend their efforts in remembering their loved one.

The first journals to be released are ‘Kids’ Survival Guide: When Parents Separate’ and ‘Kids’ Helpful Guide: When A Loved One Dies By Suicide.’ We are aiming to release a journal at regular intervals this year, covering a multitude of different losses that children encounter. They are available to buy via our website or on Amazon.


Supporting children through loss is a challenging but essential task. By providing them with tools like the "Lessons in Loss" journals, we can help children navigate their grief in a healthy and constructive way. Through journaling, children can express themselves, reflect on their experiences, and find comfort in their memories, ultimately fostering resilience and healing.


About Deborah Brown


Deborah Brown

Deborah Brown is a headteacher and Certified Grief Recovery Specialist working in the suburbs of Manchester, England. Deb's book offers an invaluable guide for teachers, parents and professionals who are seeking to help children and young people deal with loss.


You can find out more at www.lessonsinloss.com.




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