Oakville, Lighthouse, marking Children’s Grief Awareness Month with art installations


Published October 26, 2023 at 11:55 am

Blue butterflies
Artwork courtesy of Walden International School to commemorate Children's Grief Awareness Month in Oakville

The Lighthouse for Grieving Children will be installing temporary art installations at the Iroquois Ridge and Glen Abbey library branches in November as part of Children’s Grief Awareness Month initiatives.

These powerful pieces, created by students from the Walden International School, feature blue butterflies, the symbol of children’s grief, and include messaging from children who have accessed the Lighthouse services. Butterflies symbolize hope and transformation and are used during Children’s Grief Awareness Month to show grieving children they are not alone.

It is estimated that one in 14 children will experience the death of a parent or sibling by the time they turn 18, but the Lighthouse believes a caring community can support the child’s natural grieving process to encourage healing and growth.

The Tannery Park Spire and Oakville Sign, which shines brightly over the Oakville harbour, will also be illuminated in blue for Children’s Grief Awareness Month, “sending hope to the headlands of Toronto, Burlington, St. Catharines, and Niagara.”

(The Spire and sign project was made possible by contributions from the Town of Oakville, Rutenberg Sales and GVA Lighting.)

The Lighthouse for Grieving Children offers children, youth, and their families a place to receive free ongoing and open-ended grief support and to connect with others on a similar journey. Peer support groups are offered in-person and online, for children and youth three to 19. Lighthouse does not receive government funding and relies on the generosity of the community to ensure their grief support services remain free for families who need them.

Lighthouse Executive Director Anne Smith hopes to inspire a conversation about children’s grief through the art installations and “create a community of compassion” for grieving children and families. “Grief needs time, space and understanding, and The Lighthouse for Grieving Children here in Oakville provides just that.”

The Blue Butterfly art was on display last November at Queen Elizabeth Community & Cultural Centre and Trafalgar Park Community Centre in Oakville.

Lighthouse also partnered with Oakville Galleries for their ‘Beyond Art Box’ Winter Edition fundraiser in 2022 – a curated box of art supplies and activities for families, weaving in messages of staying connected to loved ones near and far throughout the holiday season.

Thursday, November 16 is Children’s Grief Awareness Day in Oakville, Halton Region and around the world.

For more information about these initiatives or to learn more about Lighthouse go to https://lighthousegriefsupport.org/


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