Grief Meditation Trails
Mindfulness and Meditation Activities
Like walking along a path in the outdoors, grief is a journey taken one step at a time. We welcome you to use these activities to help you to put one foot in front of the other, literally and figuratively, allowing nature to connect and ground you to the present—as you remember, feel and grieve.
The Benefits of Spending Time in Nature as You Grieve
Mindfulness in Nature
These mindfulness activities, created by the Highmark Caring Place, can be used while trail walking or while walking or relaxing anywhere in nature. They can be used individually or in any combination with one another. Print your own Mindfulness and Meditation Activities Guide to take with you.
Mindfulness Activity #1 Listen, Speak
- Listen to the sounds around you.
- Notice the sensation of air on your face.
- Notice any smells.
- If you could talk to your loved one right now, what you would say to them; allow words to come into your mind.
- If you are with someone, share what your words to your loved one would be.
Mindfulness Activity #2 Name Trace
- Using a stick or your finger, trace their name—their given name, or your special name for them on the ground.
- Add their relationship to you.
Mindfulness Activity #3 Grounded Memories
- Sit on the ground.
- Lean against a tree, or just focus on the ground beneath your body.
- Recall your favorite memories of your loved one.
- If you are with someone, you may want to share these memories with them.
Mindfulness Activity #4 Feelings Breath
- Feel the ground beneath your feet.
- Take a deep breath in through your nose and hold for 3 seconds.
- Slowly breathe out through your mouth as if you are blowing bubbles.
- Notice your feelings as they ride the bubbles out into the air.
- Allow yourself to feel however you feel with no judgement. Be kind and compassionate with yourself.
Mindfulness Activity #5 Reminders in Nature
- Look all around you.
- What do you see or hear or smell that reminds you of your loved one?
- What is it in those sensory impressions that is reminiscent of your person?
- If you are with someone, you may want to share with them what you noticed and how that is entwined with the life of the one you love.
Mindfulness Meditations for the Journey of Grief
These mindfulness meditations are designed specifically to center and ground us related to the journey of grief; they can be listened to anywhere you find a quiet spot for reflection. You will need access to a phone, and we recommend the use of listening devices (headphones, AirPods, etc.) to deepen the experience.
- Meditations for Grief and Loss
- Akhanda Meditation for Grief
- Coping with Grief: Guided Spoken Meditation for healing after a loss of a loved one
Mindfulness Walking Meditations
These two general mindfulness meditations are designed to center and ground us in any circumstance and are not specific to grief. They can be listened to as you are walking outside in the woods, around your neighborhood, on a walking track anywhere you are comfortable. You will need access to a phone, and we recommend the use of listening devices (headphones, AirPods, etc.) to deepen the experience.
- 10 Minute Meditation: Mindful Walking Meditation
- Soothe: how to find calm amid everyday chaos simple walking meditation
Three Benefits of Mindfulness for Kids
- Increased focus, attention, self-control, classroom participation, compassion.
- Improved academic performance, ability to resolve conflict, overall well-being.
- Decreased levels of stress, depression, anxiety, disruptive behavior.
Mindfulness Resources for Children and Teens
Mindfulness Related Books
There are many wonderful books on the topics of mindfulness and meditation. These are some of our favorites, divided by age group.
Mindfulness Related Books
- Wherever You Are My Love Will Find You by Nancy Tillman
- Angry Octopus: A Relaxation Story by Lori Lite
- A Handful of Quiet: Happiness in Four Pebbles by Thich Nhat Hanh
- Mindful Movements by Thich Nhat Hanh
- Alphabreaths: The ABC’s of Mindful Breathing by Christopher Willard & Daniel Rechtschaffen
- Sitting Still Like a Frog: Mindfulness Exercises for Kids (and Their Parents) by Eline Snel
- Mindfulness Workbook for Kids (ages 8-12) by Hannah Sherman, LCSW
- Bubble Riding: A Relaxation Story by Lori Lite
- Good Night Yoga: A Pose-by-Pose Bedtime Story by Mariam Gates
- Gratitude Journal for Teens by Scarlett Paolicchi
- The Mindfulness Journal for Teens by Jennie Marie Battistin, MA, LMFT
- Five Good Minutes by Jeffrey Brantley, MD & Wendy Millstine
- A Time to Grieve: Meditations for Healing After the Death of a Loved One
- Honoring Grief: Creating a Space to Let Yourself Heal by Alexandra Kennedy, MA