Four Activities to Help Process Grief and Memories

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Preserving and discussing memories about your loved one may feel like a difficult task based on how you grieve, how your child grieves, and how you grieve together as a family. The following activities ignite discussion and reflection about beloved qualities missed in our loved ones. Spend some time as a family or individually reflecting on your grief and the relationship you and your child had with your loved one by working through the provided activities.

Activity #1: Create a Grief Playlist

Supplies: colored cardstock, markers, pens/pencils, & stickers
Music has a strong impact on emotions and creating connections throughout different obstacles in life. Take a few moments and create a song playlist to either represent your grief journey or to represent the songs you play to feel connected to your loved one. The playlist can be as long or short as you would like. After creating your list, process with yourself about why you selected the songs you did, what they mean to you when you hear them, and what creates the connection to your grief.

Activity #2: Letter to Loved One

Supplies: paper & a writing utensil
Take time to write a letter to your loved one who has died. You may write about things that you would want them to know are currently going on, any updates, things you wish you could tell your loved one, or if you have any regrets, etc. After completing the activity, think about how it felt to write down your thoughts to your loved one on the page. You are welcome to share your letter with your family members or keep your thoughts to yourself.

Activity #3: Memory Questions

Supplies: Memory Questions handout
This can be done as a family or individually. The questions provided are to be utilized to create a connection to your loved one who died. Take turns asking each other the questions and listen to each family member’s response and the connection they had with your loved one. If you are processing individually, you are welcome to journal your responses to process further.

Activity #4: Family Portrait Drawing

Supplies: Paper and coloring utensils (markers, crayons, etc.)
Draw a picture of the different people in your family. This can include your loved one who died, extended relatives or special people in your family. Once you’ve drawn your family, list near each person drawn the different characteristics that each family member possesses. This will help to process how each person contributes to your family dynamic and how you would describe them. This drawing is open-ended and can incorporate what you choose.