We are a charity organisation

First Light Widowed Association is a charity organisation that connects young widowed people from all backgrounds and relationship structures to resources, programs and a community that will support them through the overwhelming task of re-building their world after the loss of the life they knew and the future they’d planned for.

Along with supporting the young widowed community in Australia, First Light also strives to help the family and friends of widowed people understand the best way to support their loved one during this most difficult time.

Founded in Brisbane

First Light Widowed Association was founded by Brisbane friends Rebecca Adams, Lauren Leslie and Carren Stapleton who met in a Facebook support group for young Australian widows.

By sharing their experience and connecting through their common grief, fears and frustrations, the trio realised that despite having wonderfully-supportive family and friends, their greatest comfort and relief had come from the unique friendships they’d made with other widowed people. It was this support and understanding that helped them through their darkest days.

Starting the organisation

Inspired and encouraged by a friend and mentor who started a similar organisation in the United States, Rebecca became determined to create a similar resource for Australian widowed people and teamed up with Lauren and Carren to navigate the process of establishing a not-for-profit organisation here in Australia.

Rebecca, Lauren and Carren, along with Jo and Deanna, who joined the team in our early days, have worked tirelessly to bring First Light Widowed Association to life.  By meeting and working at nights and weekends, the women combined their shared strengths and expertise; undertook further studies; and reached out to family, friends and other inspiring leaders in the Brisbane not-for-profit community for support and guidance.

The founders of First Light are proud and honoured to bring the same peer-based support that helped them through their own darkest days to other widowed people.

The challenges of widowhood

Widowhood can be a very isolating and at times lonely experience; one which changes the course of one’s life and throws us into a situation that we can never prepare for.

The challenges of widowhood vary and change as time and life inevitably ‘go on’, but the pain of such a loss remains. Sometimes we carry that loss with ease and other times the weight is far too heavy. In our experience, we have found that strength, inspiration and the first light of hope can come from connecting with those who relate to what we are going through, because they are living it themselves. Sharing your sadness, frustrations, humour and advice with those who have a very real idea of what it’s like to walk in your shoes can do so much to improve the quality of your day and give you the courage and assurance to rebuild your life while carrying your loss. Knowing that you’re not alone has tremendous power.  And so, it is with these intentions in mind that we have formed First Light Widowed Association.

Our Vision

A world where widowed people live full and happy lives, while celebrating their love for their departed spouse in a community of acceptance and support.

Our mission statement

Our mission is to create and foster a community of widowed people, supporting and inspiring members to rebuild their lives after the death of a partner or spouse. We will achieve this by providing access to practical information and resources that will assist widowed people through the bereavement process. We will facilitate an online community where members can find positive camaraderie and support each other through their grief, with the understanding that they are not alone.

We will host a life-affirming retreat that provides both useful tools and inspirational resources for widowed people from all walks of life.

Hope, community, understanding

Join our community for access to information, resources, events, and a network of widowed people for peer support. Joining is free, with options to become a financial supporter to keep us running and helping others.