Memories 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!
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. [...]
The NAGC's 15th annual symposium took place in Boston this year! This symposium brought together professionals in the child bereavement field to share their best practices concerning programming, research, measurement, fundraising and other topics. This colorful photograph shows artwork created by attendees from our NAGC workshop, "Winter Always Turns to Spring." Over 300 representatives from child bereavement programs across the country came together in June to share and learn about the important issues facing the many grieving families we serve. Staff from The Children's Room presenting at the symposium included Laurie Moskowitz-Corrois, Deborah Rivlin, and Colleen Shannon. They are pictured here with Phyllis Silverman (board member and internationally known author and bereavement researcher) as well as our Executive Director, Donna Smith Sharff. Our workshops were well attended and widely appreciated! We shared an expressive arts activity we had used this spring in our groups as we explored different feelings. The discussion that unfolds is around growth (the petals), support (the stem), comfort (the leaves), and a child or teen being at the center of their own life, with the person who died always being a part of them. As Laurie Moskowitz-Corrois explains, the metaphor "winter always turns into spring" can become a rich dialogue using the understanding of the seasons to deepen our awareness of the cycles of life and death and personal meaning making." Email [email protected] if you'd like to find out more about our workshop materials. For a detailed description of the expressive arts intervention on Spring Flowers, please click here.
Going on a Family Vacation After a Death in the Family Parent Discussion, Sunday, May 1, 6:30 to 8:00 pm
With summer approaching, you might be thinking about a family vacation. After coping with a loss in your family you may decide to redefine your family vacation and make some changes. Others might find comfort in returning to a favorite place or activity. Do you stay with past traditions or do you try something new? How can you involve your children in these discussions and decisions? This interactive parent discussion will give you an opportunity to share your story, and learn from the experiences of other families. The Parent Alumni Group (PAG) is an active group of “alumni” adults, who have been through our family-based support programs, and have remained connected to the mission of The Children’s Room. They meet regularly to support and give back to newly bereaved families in a variety of ways, including hosting regular discussion groups on topics experienced by grieving children and families. Visit the Parent Alumni Group page to see future discussion topics and dates. This discussion is the last PAG discussion scheduled for the program year. Visit our website in September for information about new discussion dates and topics. The annual PAG Cocktail Party will take place on June 16th from 6:30 to 9:00 pm. Please email all inquiries and RSVPs to [email protected] Discussions take place at TCR ~ 1210 Massachusetts Avenue, Arlington ~ 781-641-4741
“If we lost Uncle David, why don’t we go find him?” Strategies for Talking with Young Children about Death, Dying and Loss This interactive workshop will provide tools and strategies for working with young children around death, illness, and other painful losses. Participants will learn how to support and work with young children and their families through the grieving process Registration Information: $100.00 per workshop or $90.00 for early registration. Workshops take place at The Children's Room from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm. Continuing education credits available for social workers, counselors and teachers. Presented by Deborah Rivlin, MA, Director of Education & Training at TCR and adjunct professor at Mount Ida College. Deborah has worked in the field of bereavement for over 30 years. She has previously worked with The Good Grief program at Boston Medical Center, and developed the CIRCLE, a bereavement support program for families who lost a loved one on 9/11/2001. Click here to visit our Workshop Series page to view other workshop descriptions and dates and download and access the registration form. For more information about workshops, trainings or consultations contact [email protected] or call 781-641-4741 ext. 321.
The topic of this month's Parent Discussion Group is Coping with the Death of a Child. Participants will have the opportunity to share stories, experiences and challenges during this open and interactive discussion, moderated and facilitated by The Children’s Room Parent Alumni Group. The Parent Alumni Group (PAG) is an active group of “alumni” adults, who have been through our family-based support programs, and have remained connected to the mission of The Children’s Room. PAG meets regularly to support and give back to newly bereaved families in a variety of ways, including hosting regular discussion groups on topics experienced by grieving children and families. This discussion is open to the community, but space is limited. Please RSVP to [email protected] Discussions take place at TCR ~ 1210 Massachusetts Avenue, Arlington ~ 781-641-4741
Our parent alumni group is hosting a monthly series of informal discussions on Wednesday evenings. The discussions are open to any parent or guardian of a family who has experienced the loss of a spouse or a child. We hope these discussion groups will be especially supportive for the adults in families on our waitlist. Topics may include anything from how to answer your children's questions, to how to ask for help from family and friends. Not only will you find sensitivity and kindness from this group, but you will also be meeting other parents who are struggling with the adjustment to the new reality of life without your loved ones. We meet at the house in Arlington from 7:00-8:30 pm. Please RSVP to [email protected] to help us best prepare for the meeting. Light refreshments will be served. We apologize that we are not able to offer childcare at this time. We look forward to welcoming you to any or all of our drop-in discussions!
Our Parent Alumni Group is hosting a discussion group on Sunday, March 7, from 6:30-8:00 pm. Please join us for an evening of conversation around the topic of helping your teenager through their loss. Alumni parents, current parents, and waitlist parents are all welcome, as well as anyone interested in joining the discussion around this topic. RSVP by emailing [email protected] The group meets at The Children's Room, 1210 Mass Ave, Arlington.
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. We 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.
Our parent alumni group, who have been through our program, will be hosting a series of informal discussion evenings. We hope these Wednesday evening discussion groups will be especially supportive for parents and guardians of families on our waitlist. Please RSVP to [email protected] to help us best prepare for these meetings. Light refreshments will be served. We apologize that we are not able to offer childcare at this time. Come join us on: January 13, February 10, March 10, April 14, and May 12. We will be meeting at the house in Arlington from 7:00-8:30 pm. We look forward to welcoming you to any or all of our drop-in discussions!