How we started
"Grief is a healthy reaction to loss, if you love someone and they die, you will miss them" said Lighthouse Founder, Jo Fallon. "When a parent is taken away, your security and sense of self is lost. We are delicate beings - when you have a death in the family, you are at your most vulnerable".
Grief is hard work, make no mistake - exhausting, isolating, disorientating, overwhelming and physical. Grief alters how we show up in our life. If we don't have the opportunity to resolve these experiences they will come out later in life, which is not ideal.The more that children and youth are able to process through what has happened the greater their resilience and sense of self as they go into adulthood. To be in a non-judgemental, loving and accepting environment is crucial.When families are at their most vulnerable, Lighthouse provides the extraordinary environment in which to explore what they have experienced safely, which is profound and very necessary.
Jo Fallon started The Lighthouse for Grieving Children in 1999 with Marg Humphrey, on the principal that within each of us is the innate ability to heal. The Lighthouse gives children the sense of self back at a time when their lives have been turned upside down and inside out. There isn't a finish line with grief which is why families stay at Lighthouse for as long as they need to, which is typically 18 months.
From humble beginnings, Lighthouse has grown to over 250 children, teens and families in 2016. The Lighthouse moved to its new permanent home at 2522 Rebecca Street in November 2016. This new home will enable Lighthouse to support double the number of families and become a children's grief resource and training centre for the region.
"How did the rose ever open its heart and give to this world all of its beauty?
If felt encouragement of light against its being. Otherwise, we will all remain too frightened".
- from "The Gift" poems by Hafiz
In this TED talk the Lighthouse founder Jo Fallon explains her reasons for creating The Lighthouse.