­

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. [...]

By |August 30th, 2011|Categories: Advocacy, Child Loss, Community Events, Family Stories, Homicide, Memorial Events, News|Comments Off on Anniversary Memorial: 9/11

National Alliance for Grieving Children Annual Symposium, Boston, July 14-16, 2011

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 info@childrensroom.org 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.

By |June 25th, 2011|Categories: Child Loss, College Students, Community Events, Events, News, Resources, workshops or conferences|Comments Off on National Alliance for Grieving Children Annual Symposium, Boston, July 14-16, 2011

The Children’s Room Community Tours We invite you to visit!

Tours of The Children's Room are open to those in our communities who would like to learn more about how peer support groups help grieving children, teens, and families. Guests hear a heartfelt welcome from a board or staff member, then take a 45 minute walk through the house. People tell us after the tour that they are incredibly moved and say they can now picture what happens in our program. They enter expecting to find a sad atmosphere, and instead they leave feeling surprised by the colorful and comforting surroundings at the house, and the stories of hope and inspiration. Visit the Community Tours page for more information. Please RSVP or make inquiries to:  Kim@childrensroom.org For families interested in applying to the program: Please contact info@childrensroom.org for Family Orientation dates.

By |June 24th, 2011|Categories: Community Events, Events, News|Comments Off on The Children’s Room Community Tours We invite you to visit!

Congratulations to our Miles + Memories Team!

With the wind at their backs, and inspiration in their hearts, Maritza, Martin, Tina, and Donna completed all 26.2 miles of the Boston Marathon on Monday! Their dedication to months of training, running in memory of loved ones, and supporting grieving children and families impressed us all. Tina, running in memory of her mother, wore her mother's running shorts. Maritza pushed through, even while fighting a cold and a knee injury. Donna was motivated by the courage of the families we serve. Martin has now run three marathons in support of TCR! They were all inspired and energized by the encouragement of the supporters along the marathon route. They said: "Having people there for you was so important; It helped not to feel alone on this journey; It felt like the encouragement and support helped to move you forward and pulled you through."  It was striking to hear how their comments mirrored what families often feel in their support groups at TCR! The Children's Room is so grateful to the runners and the incredible support they received from family, friends, and the community. Thank you to all who supported our wonderful Miles + Memories team!! Click here if you would like to make a donation in support of the team - it's not too late!

By |April 21st, 2011|Categories: Community Events, News|Comments Off on Congratulations to our Miles + Memories Team!

The Children’s Room 2011 Workshop Series Supporting Emerging Adults Coping With Loss Tuesday, May 10, 9:00 am to 4:00 pm

It has been estimated that around 25 percent of traditionally aged college students have experienced the death of a family member or friend within the last year. This workshop will explore the intersection of typical young adult developmental issues and the experience of bereavement. 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 35 years.  She has previously worked with The Good Grief program at Boston Medical Center, and created and developed the CIRCLE, a bereavement support program for families, including many families who lost a loved one on 9/11/2001. Click here to visit our Workshop Series page to view our summer workshop descriptions and dates and download and access the registration form. For more information about workshops, trainings or consultations contact Deborah@childrensroom.org or call 781-641-4741 ext. 321.

By |April 20th, 2011|Categories: College Students, Community Events, Events, News, workshops or conferences|Comments Off on The Children’s Room 2011 Workshop Series Supporting Emerging Adults Coping With Loss Tuesday, May 10, 9:00 am to 4:00 pm

Miles + Memories: Meet our Boston Marathon team!

Our 2011 Boston Marathon Team has grown! Thanks to the generosity of the John Hancock Nonprofit Marathon Bib Program, we now have four official runners. John Hancock has sponsored the Boston Marathon for 25 years, and each year provides entry bibs for runners who are raising money and hope for community nonprofits. Our Miles + Memories Team is a wonderful representation of the TCR community, and now includes: Martin Conneely, owner of Conneely Contracting in Arlington, and long-time, generous supporter, who will be running his third marathon in support of TCR (and ninth in all)! Maritza Ebling, cousin and niece to a TCR family whose daughter died of SUDC, who says, “I have seen firsthand the power to overcome with help from others.” Tina Milani, current TCR group facilitator volunteer, whose own experience includes the loss of her mom at age nine, and is inspired by the TCR kids with similar losses. Donna Sharff, our own executive director, a life-long runner, who is thrilled to have the opportunity to run a marathon in support of the TCR families. Visit our Miles + Memories Team page for more information about all of our runners, or click here to make a donation and begin supporting them right away! Please add a note to let us know which runner you would like to support with your gift.

By |April 13th, 2011|Categories: Community Events, Events, News|Comments Off on Miles + Memories: Meet our Boston Marathon team!

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 jen@childrensroom.org. Discussions take place at TCR ~ 1210 Massachusetts Avenue, Arlington ~ 781-641-4741

By |April 11th, 2011|Categories: Child Loss, Community Events, Events, News, Parents Council|Comments Off on Going on a Family Vacation After a Death in the Family Parent Discussion, Sunday, May 1, 6:30 to 8:00 pm

The Children’s Room 2011 Workshop Series Talking with Young Children About Loss Saturday, April 2

“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 Deborah@childrensroom.org or call 781-641-4741 ext. 321.

By |March 28th, 2011|Categories: Child Loss, Community Events, Events, News, workshops or conferences|Comments Off on The Children’s Room 2011 Workshop Series Talking with Young Children About Loss Saturday, April 2

Remarriage, or Committing to a Serious Relationship after the Death of your Spouse Parent Discussion, Sunday, April 10, 6:00-7:30 pm

Are you thinking about making a more serious commitment to a new partner after the loss of your spouse?  You might be planning to talk to your kids about changing your living arrangement or getting remarried.  How do you balance your role as a single parent with a commitment to a new relationship? Children can come between you and your partner in the best of circumstances. How can you do this and do it well? Join this discussion to explore with other parents the possibilities amid the challenges. 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 open to the community, but space is limited. Please email inquiries and RSVPs to jen@childrensroom.org. Discussions take place at TCR ~ 1210 Massachusetts Avenue, Arlington ~ 781-641-4741

By |March 23rd, 2011|Categories: Community Events, Events, News, Parents Council|Comments Off on Remarriage, or Committing to a Serious Relationship after the Death of your Spouse Parent Discussion, Sunday, April 10, 6:00-7:30 pm

The Children’s Room 2011 Workshop Series Fostering Resiliency in Children, Tuesday, March 29

Fostering Resiliency in Children Coping with Death, Illness and other Losses This workshop provides social workers, counselors, teachers, and other professionals with the tools and  strategies to support children through all kinds of loss. Loss will be discussed not only as a crisis, but as an opportunity to develop and strengthen coping skills that will serve children throughout their lifetime. 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 Deborah@childrensroom.org or call 781-641-4741 ext. 321.

By |March 13th, 2011|Categories: Community Events, Events, News, workshops or conferences|Comments Off on The Children’s Room 2011 Workshop Series Fostering Resiliency in Children, Tuesday, March 29