The Lighthouse: offering hope and light and comfort
The Lighthouse Program for Grieving Children provides support groups for children, teens, and their families following a death in the immediate family. We want to provide a safe place where grieving children, teens and families can share their experience and support each other as they move through their grief process.
We are called the Lighthouse because lighthouses have traditionally been symbols of hope and security. Their beacons of light have provided guidance for safe passage to sailors at sea and the security of land nearby. In this vain, we hope our program can serve as a beacon of light to grieving families so they can safely navigate through the difficult waters of grief and rebuild their lives with renewed hope and meaning.
All conversations at the Lighthouse Program are confidential.
The Lighthouse Approach: providing respect, time and space
Grief is a natural reaction to loss of a loved one for children, teens and adults – in our busy world we often find it difficult to acknowledge grief and struggle to give those mourning time to heal. At the Lighthouse we provide a space to reflect, recover, and re-adjust.
The death of a loved one is a time of crisis and, if handled with caring and support, can become a process of growth. Supporting children and teens in their experience of grief by providing a safe place to verbalize their difficult feelings and thoughts will prevent the development of unhealthy forms of expressing their grief.
Often, family members wish to “protect” each other from their grief. Children and teens find they can comfortably express their feelings when they are with peers who have also experienced the death of a family member.
The duration and intensity of grief are unique for each individual – many people, mourning a close death, feel lonely and isolated in their former social and work environments. All of our participants are mourning a life-altering death and learn to come to terms with a much changed family life. At the Lighthouse we respect each other as unique individuals with different needs on a similar journey. As a community of professionals, volunteers and peers we try to support each person according to their needs.