The Lighthouse
A special message of encouragement, through grief.

BLOG by Karen Offord

10th August 2014

It was chilly, but the sun was shining and there was a beautiful calmness and sense of peace.

As I was writing early this morning on a project close to my heart, the image of a lighthouse appeared. A structure built with the purpose of guiding and lighting the way for those at sea. For safe journeys, for safe arrivals.

I was writing about grief and loss. A vast and emotional topic I would rather avoid (sincerely) but one, that in some way touches us all. One that had touched my heart so deeply in recent years. We cannot hide from it.

The lighthouse image I received was symbolic. Representing to me, those of us standing on the outside looking in. Watching or supporting a friend or a family member go through the pain of losing someone they love. Of-course a vision of a boat quickly followed. Representing those that are suffering and trying to navigate their way through what can only be described as a storm. A storm that can change in intensity at any moment, knocking them around, leaving them feeling vulnerable, lost and helpless amongst many other emotions.

For those of us watching and supporting, often feeling helpless ourselves or that we don't make a difference or can't help - I share with you this:
- In your listening; You shine a light.
- In your smiles, your hugs and passing the tissues; You shine a light.
- In your helping to make or share a meal, run an errand, mow a lawn, to help someone in this time of need; You shine a light.
- In your finding information and resources for them; You shine a light.
- In your doing of any good deed to lighten their load; You shine a light.

A lighthouse stands tall and strong, shining brightly. Bringing hope, comfort and guidance. While it cannot physically steer the ship, it offers a safe path, it sees the dangers around and humbly illuminates them so the boat can choose to steer in another direction.

But always remember a lighthouse needs to be maintained to function. You must also take care of yourself when you are trying to be the shining light and hope for someone you love, who has lost...

If your feeling overwhelmed, your struggling or just don't know what to do - please speak to someone, you can start by calling Lifeline - (Australia only) a free 24/7 telephone counselling service and looking at the many available resources. You should never have to feel alone. 

› The Lighthouse