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.

Candle lightings this holiday season

The candle lighting events listed below have already taken place. If you know of other remembrance events or gatherings, please send them to info@childrensroom.org so that we can share them with the rest of the community.

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Hospice Care Celebration of Light 12.8.11

The Visiting Nurse and Community Health’s Hospice Care invites you to their Celebration of Light Holiday Service – a service of comfort and hope especially for those experiencing loss.

Thursday, December 8th, 2011 at 7:00pm

Church of Our Saviour

21 Marathon St., East Arlington, MA

For more information, please contact Nancy Strong, Hospice Bereavement Coordinator at 781-643-6090 ext. 1342. Download the flyer here.

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Compassionate Friends Worldwide Candle Lighting

The Compassionate Friends Worldwide Candle Lighting is hosting their 15th annual candle lighting on December 11th, 2011.

This memorial event will happen worldwide at 7:00pm local time, creating a virtual wave of light as hundreds of thousands of persons in all time zones commemorate and honor the memory of children in a way that transcends all ethnic, cultural, religious, and political boundaries.

Many people will participate in this memorial in their own homes or small groups, but you are welcome to join the Greater Boston Chapter of The Compassionate Friends for their candle lighting gathering in Jamaica Plain.

December 11th, 2011 from 4:00pm to 8:00pm

Forest Hill Cemetery, 95 Forest Hill Ave, Jamaica Plain, MA

Read about the details for this event and download the event flyer here. Pre-registration is recommended. Register by calling Linda Strother at 617-288-8068 or e-mailing thecompassionatefriendsofboston@hotmail.com.

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TCR Circle of Light Community Candle Lighting

We warmly invite you to come to The Children’s Room for our

Circle of Light Community Candle Lighting

Wednesday, December 14th, 2011

6:30pm to 7:30pm

at The Children’s Room in Arlington, MA

Readings, a community art project, and refreshments will all be part of the evening. Please RSVP to Sarah at sarah@childrensroom.org or 781-641-4741 if you are interested in attending.

You can download a flyer for this memorial evening by clicking here.

Circle of Light Community Candle Lighting

Please join The Children’s Room for an evening of remembrance, comfort and hope…

heart candle image

Wednesday, December 14th, 2011  ~  6:30 to 7:30 pm
The Children’s Room
1210 Massachusetts Avenue  ~  Arlington, MA 02476


In this season of light, remember the light
your loved one has brought to your life.



We warmly invite you to come and remember a loved one at this affirming ritual, and to share with others from our community. Readings, a community art project, and refreshments will all be part of the evening, and participants will have the opportunity to take home a candle to keep through the holiday season. All are welcome, including children of all ages and anyone new to The Children’s Room community.

Please RSVP so that we can plan for the number of people who will be attending. RSVPs and questions can be directed to Sarah at sarah@childrensroom.org or 781-641-4741 ext. 100. When submitting your RSVP, please let Sarah know how many children will be attending with you.

~  Click here to make a donation to The Children’s Room in memory of a loved one  ~
Feel free to download this pdf flyer to share our event with others.

Annual Memories Walk – October 2nd

4KidsMemories That Move Us – Our annual Memories Walk was a wonderful day for our community, and we thank our many supporters for being part of our biggest walk ever!  Please check back soon to see more photographs from the day, featuring walkers in bright green shirts. We will also be posting more news about how this event helped with our fall fundraising efforts to support The Children’s Room.

Still want to donate to this year’s walk? It’s not too late to make an online contribution at  Firstgiving.

Again, we thank our generous walk sponsors, all the friends and volunteers and donors who made our Memories Walk a success again this year, and we especially thank the Arlington Hockey Club for another amazing year of support!

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.