Workshop Outline

  1. Open with prayer or moment of reflection (1 minute)

  2. Moderator overview (7 minutes)
    1. Discuss the lost art of letter writing and the healing benefits of writing
    2. Discuss the expectations of the workshop:
      1. Closure
      2. Sense of ‘doing’ something positive and constructive
      3. Empowerment to start closing the door on grief or hardship
      4. A way of reflecting on one’s own life and life path
      5. A completed (or close to complete) letter to a loved one
      6. 5 stages of grief: Denial – Anger – Bargaining – Depression – Acceptance
      7. The thought that everyone has a story (letter/poem/picture/song) to write
      8. Confidentiality of identities and what is shared within the workshop
    3. What the LGL project is (check website Mission Statement on HOME PAGE)
    4. Suggestions to whom the letter can be written: spouse, parent, child, sibling, pet, self, child going off to college, loved one being deployed, ex-spouse, addiction, child to be married
    5. Ask for other suggestions of possible recipients

  3. Starting the process (10 minutes)
    1. Pass out 3” X 5” cards and ask participants to think of the person to whom they are writing, write down a specific incident that comes to mind
      1. Example: I remember when I was 15 and you taught me how to…
      2. Example: It wasn’t a big deal to you, but it was a big deal to me that summer we spent in Wisconsin and we and talked about…
      3. Example: You always shared your secrets with me and that made me feel…
      4. Example: I remember the first time we met and…
    2. Each share what’s on his/her card, if willing

  4. Discussion and practice: Tips/Steps on how to write a Last Goodbye Letter (10 minutes)
    1. Step 1: Already done! Write a specific incident that comes to mind when you think of the person.
    2. Step 2: Expand on Step 1 by taking a minute to think about how you felt then and how you feel now about this incident and write it down on that same card.
      1. Example: You gave me the confidence to try hard at something for the first time in my life
      2. Example: That was the beginning of my love for the outdoors and it set my life on a course that it wouldn’t have taken without you
      3. iii. Example: You made me feel important and grown up and that what I had to say really mattered
    3. Step 3: Repeat Steps 1 and 2 for additional thoughts on separate cards as
      necessary (as workshop time allows)
    4. Step 4: Close your letter with a few short words that you feel describe the recipient
      1. Example: You are important to me because you are beautiful inside and out
      2. Example: Your laugh makes me smile
      3. Example: You always make me feel safe

  5. Discuss pitfalls/cautions (2 minutes)
    1. Don’t think you have to say EVERYTHING in a letter
    2. Maybe a ‘letter’ isn’t a letter.
      1. Drawing
      2. Word collage
      3. Poem (rhyming or otherwise)
      4. Song
      5. Video
    3. Ask for other ideas

  6. Finalize your letter: Everyone try writing a letter building from the thought(s) on their 3” X 5” card(s) (15 minutes)

  7. Discussion: You’ve got the letter, now what? How to give it to your loved one. (3 minutes)
    1. Caveat: Don’t dictate how the other person must read or react to your letter. It may be too emotional for the other person to read it in front of you.
    2. Discuss how to ‘give’ the letter if the loved one is deceased

  8. People share letters aloud if they wish (10 minutes—varies)

  9. Wrap up (2 minutes)
    1. Invite people to submit their letters to the LGL project online at and click the SUBMIT YOUR LETTER in the purple bar at the top.
    2. Close in prayer if appropriate
    3. Hand out the outline of How To Write A Goodbye Letter – 7 Steps for future letter writing
    4. Thank people for coming

Total workshop length: one hour

Workshop Downloads

Click HERE to download your Last Goodbye Letter Workshop Outline.

Click HERE to download your Last Goodbye Letter 7 Steps for Future Letter Writing handout.

Upcoming Virtual Workshops

We often offer free one-hour virtual call-in goodbye letter writing workshops.  While there is not an immediate workshop scheduled at this time, we would be happy to set one up for you and/or your group!   Just use the CONTACT US button to let us know.  We will create a workshop that will focus on saying goodbye and letting go in a capacity that fits your needs, however we always encourage you to instead choose to write to whomever/whatever you would like.

No Upcoming Call-In Workshops Scheduled.  

Keep checking back!

Materials needed: index cards/paper, writing implement, telephone (earbuds are helpful)