“Raising Grieving Children” Webinar with Phyllis Silverman

Phyllis SilvermanThe Association for Death Education and Counseling (ADEC) is hosting a webinar this Wednesday, May 16th on how children and teens experience grief. TCR founder Phyllis Silverman, Phd, MSW, ScM, will share knowledge she’s gained from her decades of research and work with grieving children and families. Visit ADEC’s website to learn more and register for this webinar. If you’re not able to watch it live, you can also purchase a recording of the presentation.

Marathon Kickoff Reception

Courtney&Jill

What inspires someone to run in the Boston Marathon?

We had a great evening in January during our Marathon Kickoff Reception, hearing from this year’s runners: Courtney & Jill (pictured left), Anne, Deana, and Chris. Friends and supporters came to meet our runners and hear about what inspired them to participate in the Marathon in support of children and families at TCR. Click here to learn more about the marathon runners.

Anniversary Memorial: 9/11

We join communities throughout Massachusetts in honoring the 9/11 Anniversary. Nearly 3,000 children lost a parent who died from the attacks on September 11th, 2001.

Ten years after losing her husband, Teresa Mathai shared some of her memories and reflections with us. “Ten years ago, on September 11, 2001, when I heard my husband Joseph Mathai was at a conference at Windows on the World at the WTC and missing after the buildings collapsed, I was in shock and overwhelmed. As a mother with two young kids, I did not know how to break the news to them and how to face the uncertain future ahead. Good friends of ours, Joe and Candy Bergantino, suggested that I call The Children’s Room, which I did. Our family will never forget the kindness and loving support we received from The Children’s Room from those early days of this tragedy, and we will forever be grateful for the continued friendship we have maintained all these years!”

Here at The Children’s Room, we work every day to help support grieving families, and we know that the death of a parent or sibling remains one of society’s least understood and least supported issues. Yet we are inspired daily by stories of courage, and stories of families who turn loss into healing.

Teresa Mathai recently helped Boston families record their memories of loved ones when the 9/11 Memorial Museum visited Boston, through a series of audio recording sessions at The Children’s Room. One of those who shared his story was Franklin Ross, whose father died on 9/11.

Franklin wrote a book of poems to honor his father, and his poetry illustrates how creative expression can transform pain into meaning and beauty. His collection of poetry honors the life of his father Richard Ross, and shines as a beacon of hope for others who have experienced a profound loss. We offer a link so you can read more about the collection of poems by Franklin Ross. Franklin has generously offered to donate part of the proceeds from his book to The Children’s Room.

Two women who have become part of our circle of support at The Children’s Room are Susan Retik and Patti Quigley, who were both widowed on 9/11. Together, Susan and Patti have helped hundreds of widows through the foundation they built together, called  Beyond the 11th . The Children’s Room is grateful for the generous support we have received from the David E. Retik and Christopher D. Mello Foundation, which in turn has helped sustain our programs for grieving families in Massachusetts.

Our Director of Education and Training, Deborah Rivlin, worked with Boston-area 9/11 families for years. In a Boston Globe article this past week, Deborah reflected; “The loss is forever, you are changed forever, but you learn to integrate the loss into your life. There’s an opportunity that comes, in finding ways to make meaning of the loss.”

As a resource to our community, we offer a list of suggestions for talking to your child about the tenth anniversary, recommended by the National Alliance for Grieving Children.

HFA Webinar Series: Helping Children & Adolescents Cope with Grief & Loss

Hospice Foundation of America (HFA) is presenting a webinar series on helping children and adolescents cope with grief and loss:

1. Bereavement Camps for Kids: Benefits and Challenges – February 1, 1:00-2:30pm ET
2. Bereaved Children & Adolescents: Lessons from Research – April 14, 1:00-2:30pm ET
3. Grieving Children & Adolescents: The Role of Internet Support – June 15, 1:00-2:30pm ET

The series will be hosted by nationally-known expert Kenneth Doka, Senior Bereavement Consultant to HFA.  The webinars will look at lessons learned, emerging trends, and how to use bereavement camps and other strategies to best serve grieving children in their communities.

For more information about topics, speakers, fees, and registration, please visit the HFA website page for Helping Children & Adolescents Cope with Grief & Loss Webinars.

Bandaid Heart ArtworkWe are also very proud to announce that the Hospice Foundation of America will be featuring artwork from The Children’s Room in their companion book and program for their 2010 National Bereavement Teleconference – Living with Grief: Cancer and End-of-Life Care.  To see the program cover, you can visit the HFA Teleconference page.

The Hospice Foundation of America provides education and information to help people cope with terminal illness, death, and the process of grief.  They offer resources for both professionals and individuals including brochures, books, dvds, webinars, and courses.

Getting Through the Holidays After the Loss of a Loved One: Sunday Night Discussion – November 8

For parents and other adults who have lost a close loved one – family or friend, there are so many discussions, issues, and concerns that arise.  There are topics that are difficult to discuss with people who have not experienced something similar.

The Children’s Room Parents Council, a group of program alumni who are dedicated to our mission and to the support of peers, is offering a Sunday Night Discussion Series to create a forum for these conversations.  These discussions are open to the public, and there is no fee to attend.  We just ask that you RSVP.

All discussion groups will meet from 6:30-8:00 at our house in Arlington.  The next 2 topics in the series are:

Getting Through the Holidays After the Loss of a Loved One: November 8th
Holding on to traditions or letting go? How about creating “new” traditions? Come hear how others have found ways to get through some of the most difficult days and situations.

Dating and/or Remarriage After the Loss of a Spouse: January 10th
Listen to and discuss with others the complex issues around this decision — from finding the time to date, to bringing the children into the new relationship, to merging households.

Upcoming Discussions:
Helping Your Teenagers Through the Loss of  a Loved One: March 7
Your Changing Relationship to Your In-Laws After the Loss of Your Spouse: May 2

Please visit our calendar for a complete schedule.
For more information or to RSVP for a Discussion, please send email to info@childrensroom.org.