Can outdoor furniture reduce loneliness too?
Maybe not, but here's how it can help...
A beautiful example in Australia
In the northern indigenous villages of Australia there is a village where, when someone dies, everyone in the village moves a piece of furniture or something else into their yard. The next day, when the bereaved family wakes up and looks outside, they see that everything has changed since their loved one died—not just for them but for everyone. That’s how these communities witness, and mirror, grief. They are showing in a tangible way that someone’s death matters. The loss is made visible. (source)
What does this story have to do with loneliness?
Loneliness and grief are emotions are both universal experiences. Everyone feels lonely sometimes, and all of us will experience grief at some point in our lives. And both loneliness and grief can be hard to see. In a crowd of strangers we don't always know which people are suffering, so it's tough to know who needs help.
What if there were "furniture" for loneliness?
The Togetherness Bench Partnership seeks to raise awareness and inspire action in the fight against loneliness. By placing Togetherness Benches in visible locations throughout our communities, we can send a message of encouragement and solidarity to our lonely neighbors. No, benches alone won't solve the problem of loneliness. But benches do make statements. Their presence can remind healthy people to invest time into relationships. And encourage people suffering from loneliness that their neighbors care.
At Love the Lonely, we are working with community leaders around the U.S. to install Togetherness Benches, organize Togetherness Rallies and develop sustainable and effective Togetherness strategies. To learn more about bringing Togetherness Benches to your community, drop us a line.