For families who are grieving a death, the loss is life-changing, the implications far reaching. The Lighthouse Program for Grieving Children offers children, youth, and their families a place to receive free grief support and to connect with others on a similar journey. They need time, space, and understanding as they try to cope with their pain and readjust to a life forever changed. Lighthouse offers a community of understanding at a time when families are at their most vulnerable.
When a child or youth experience the death of a parent or sibling, it changes their life and their world view. Grief, for them, is not an event, it is a lifelong process. Children and youth will grieve and re-grieve with each age and stage of development, at different milestones and significant life events. Lighthouse helps them to understand their grief, acknowledges their pain and allows for the expression of their feelings and exploration of their experiences.
Lighthouse for Grieving Children is located next to 16 Mile Creek (Bronte Creek) in Oakville, Ontario, on both the traditional and treaty land of the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation whose land is recognized under treaty 22. Historically and in the present day, these lands continue to be the Mississaugas, part of the Anishinaabe Nation, whose territory encompasses 3.9 million acres of southern Ontario.
We also honour the Haudenosaunee, Métis, Attawandaron, and Huron-Wendat peoples of Peel and Halton, who also lived on these traditional territories and continue to have presence here.
To help children, youth and their families who are grieving a death, find a sense of belonging, connection and understanding from others experiencing a similar loss.
To foster and encourage supportive communities for grieving children, youth, and their families within Lighthouse, and beyond our four walls.
At Lighthouse, we believe that no child should grieve alone. To achieve this, we apply a culturally humble approach within all levels of our organization. Understanding that grief affects everyone differently, we listen and learn from our community members, allowing us to provide more equitable access to grief support. Focusing on inclusivity, we honour the rich diversity of our communities through continuous employee development and program provision.
*Cultural Humility is a process of self-reflection to understand personal and systemic biases and to develop and maintain respectful processes and relationships based on mutual trust. Cultural humility involves humbly acknowledging oneself as a learner when it comes to understanding another’s experience.
*First Nations Health Authority Policy Statement on Cultural Safety & Humility