November is recognized globally as Children’s Grief Awareness Month, symbolized by the blue butterfly which represents hope. When someone in their family dies, grieving children and youth can be the ‘forgotten mourners’, so it is important to let them know we are here for them.
Lighthouse helps to raise awareness for children’s grief through a variety of initiatives and events leading up to Children’s Grief Awareness Day, which takes place annually on the third Thursday in November.
Read on to see some of the Lighthouse initiatives that helped to raise awareness for children’s grief.
Lighthouse initiated a community art project with Walden International School of Oakville in honour of Children’s Grief Awareness Month.
Students at Walden School used their incredible talents to create beautiful and impactful artwork that was on display at Glen Abbey Library, and Iroquois Ridge Community Centre for the month of November.
Many thanks to Barb Hewitt and students at Walden International School of Oakville for the tremendous work and passion that went into building these beautiful displays, and to the Town of Oakville for displaying the artwork to help spread our message.
Thursday November 16, 2023 marks Children’s Grief Awareness Day (CGAD), an important day to reflect and acknowledge the 1 in 14 children and youth that have experienced the death of a parent or sibling by the time they turn 18.
In 2021, Lighthouse for Grieving Children and Canadian Alliance for Grieving Children & Youth (CAGCY), initiated a special project called Grief Reflections where Canadian athletes who have experienced grief as a child or youth, were asked to reflect on their unique grief journey and how it has impacted and shaped them.
The objective of this campaign was to spread awareness of the impact of child grief and reinforce the importance of the resources and supports available to grieving children and their families, by having Canadians watch and share the campaign video, and donate to help ensure no child grieves alone.
Kaleb Dahlgren is the former assistant captain of the Humboldt Broncos and one of thirteen survivors from the fatal 2018 bus crash, Kaleb experienced the tragic deaths of his friends, teammates, and coaching staff.
Will Petschenig is an unrestricted free-agent hockey player, previously playing for teams in the ECHL and Swiss League. Will lost his father Dan, who was a former Toronto Argonaut, to a pulmonary embolism in 2013. Will wears #65 in his father’s honour and is spearheading the opening of a children’s grief center in Durham region to support children experiencing the loss of a loved one.
Click on the athletes’ names to view their full stories on our YouTube Channel.
Shining brightly over the Oakville Harbour, the Tannery Hill Beacon and Oakville sign are illuminated in blue for Children’s Grief Awareness Month, sending hope to grieving families everywhere. Many thanks to the Town of Oakville and GVA Lighting for making this possible.
On Children’s Grief Awareness Day, Thursday November 16, 2023, the following monuments were also shining brightly in blue: CN Tower, Mississauga Clock Tower and the Burlington Pier.
Our home at 2522 Rebecca in Oakville, was also transformed into a blue beacon of lights. Visitors are always welcome to stop by and take a moment to pause and reflect in the Memory Garden.