Graduation and beyond

The Children's Room is proud of our graduating seniors. We recognize that the past few months might have felt quite different than usual, and graduation may not have been precisely the occasion they imagined. We feel that our seniors deserve every ounce of credit! Graduation is a big deal, and we are excited for them and celebrate ALL of their achievements! We also want to send them off, knowing that they still have a lot of support! Take a look at the many different (free) ways seniors and young adults can continue to connect with others who have had similar experiences: HEART Play for Young Adults A great way to get to know other late high school and college-aged individuals from MA! Zoom groups are offered throughout the summer and beyond. Find a space to acknowledge the challenges of graduation, leaving home after a loss, meeting new people, and more. Learn more. Actively Moving Forward This national organization is focused on supporting, connecting, and empowering grieving young adults. They've got virtual support mastered! They offer a free app that connects you with others in a fun social way, virtual support groups, customized text messages from a "Grief Coach," and lots of info about finding support during college. Learn more. The Dinner Party Young adults in nearly 100 cities & towns around the world are meeting up for dinner! Find a community of other emerging adults who have experienced a past loss and meet up for pot-lucks and great conversations. Learn more. What's Your Grief This website offers a tremendous archive of practical, humorous, sarcastic, and down-to-earth articles about dealing with grief. Written by two young adults who have had their own past losses, WYG covers [...]

By |July 23rd, 2020|Categories: News, Teens|0 Comments

Family Night in a Box:

Expressive Activities adapted for Bereaved Families during COVID-19 The National Alliance for Grieving Children recently hosted a webinar presented by The Children's Room clinical Program Team entitled, "Family Night in a Box: Expressive Activities adapted for Bereaved Families during COVID-19". The intention of the webinar was to share & facilitate with our larger bereavement community one of the activities from “Family Night in a Box”, as well as to offer all 13 activities as a PDF resource. It was also an opportunity to re-introduce “Family Night”, a monthly service we have presented in the past at other NAGC Symposia. The Children's Room invited all participants to join in doing the activity, entitled, "Scream Box" during the webinar. This is the creation of a box that children, teens, and adults can use to "scream" or shout about whatever feelings they are having related to positive or more difficult events when they are also grieving. This gave participants an opportunity to understand the activity, have a chance to create one in real-time, learn how to do it, and see how it might be used or adapted for families at their own organizations. Watch the video and download the activities guide.

By |July 9th, 2020|Categories: Art, News|0 Comments

Saying Thank You to Board Chair, Michael Nagle

When Michael Nagle walked through the blue door of the yellow house known as The Children’s Room in 2006, becoming the Chair of the Board of Directors was the furthest thing from his mind. Michael, his wife Melyne, and oldest daughter Izzy participated in grief support services after losing their youngest daughter, Sophia, one week after her first birthday. A few months from now, The Children’s Room will bid a warm thank you to Michael as his Board Chair term ends. With a strong desire to give back to The Children’s Room, Michael accepted the invitation to join the board in 2014. “It was the most cohesive board I have had the pleasure to serve on. The amount of individual trust, the ability to engage in thought-provoking opinion sharing, and the commitment to the mission are unifying elements across all the members.” Chosen as Chair of the Board in 2016, Michael is particularly proud of several accomplishments while at The Children’s Room. “The relationship we have established between the board and the Executive Director and her staff is outstanding. Secondly, the focus on board recruitment has allowed us to identify and recruit for needed competencies, including the addition of young professional leadership that will guide us as we grow.” When asked if Michael had any advice for incoming Chair, Jenny Carlson-Pietraszek, he responded, “continue to leverage the many powerful board voices and enhance the partnership between the board and the Executive Director.” As we extend a gracious virtual handshake and hug to Michael, we wish him luck in his new adventures.

By |June 25th, 2020|Categories: Board of Directors, News|0 Comments

Grieving on Father’s Day: What You Should Know and How You Can Help

Father’s Day is Sunday, June 21st. Reminders seem to be everywhere—in the greeting card aisles at the store, activities that people do with their dads, and friends and family making plans for the special day. This time of year can be hard for those who have lost their fathers, and for fathers who are grieving a child. Give yourself permission to spend the day in whatever way feels best to you. For some, that might mean participating in family traditions or sharing special memory foods. You could also create new rituals and find new ways to remember and celebrate the life of the person who died. If you're with a bereaved dad on Father’s Day, be sure to ask how he is doing; he may decline to talk, but offering to listen is an important gesture in showing your care. If you’re supporting a bereaved child or teen, make sure you ask directly what might be helpful for him or her. The child or teen may have clear ideas about what will make him or her most comfortable, but he or she may not be able to articulate it without being asked. To recognize that a child, teen, or adult may want to do something on that day as a way to remember is important. Sometimes the anticipation of the day can be harder than the day itself. It is often helpful to plan ahead for how you want to spend the day. Everyone’s grief is unique, and there is no right or wrong way to do this. Different family members may want to do something things individually and/or something together. Allow yourself the time and space to acknowledge whatever feelings you may have, and [...]

By |June 18th, 2020|Categories: News|Tags: |0 Comments

The Children’s Room Teens during COVID-19

As much as The Children’s Room has supported all our TCR families closely during this pause in programming, we have found our thoughts continuously pulled back to our teens and how this unusual COVID-19 time might be impacting them. The teens who are brought towards TCR are no strangers to the layers of losses that come with being their age and experiencing the death of a parent or sibling. While they have keen insights about how their lives have been impacted, we suspect that many are encountering new emotions and situations that even they could not have imagined. Grieving teens often find outlets, build a sense of belonging, and form identities through their social communities. For nearly the past two months, however, they have found themselves separated from friends, teachers, coaches, and others who might have been their confidants and supports. With sports teams, school communities, after-school activities, jobs, and even time spent relaxing with friends taken away for the foreseeable future, it is likely that they are feeling the isolation of this time magnified. A number of teens have also needed to take on additional responsibilities during this time, further adding to the stressors that they are managing. Many teens attending TCR’s groups can identify a whole list of future milestones that will be altered by not having the person who died there to witness and share in them. For our seniors graduating in 2020, some of these same significant moments - which were already anticipated to bring reminders of past loss - will now be intertwined with a new type of grief. In addition to the person who died not being there to take pre-prom photos, cheer on their senior sports awards ceremony, [...]

By |May 8th, 2020|Categories: News, Teens|0 Comments

We’re proud to introduce our 2020 Miles & Memories Team!

Each year our Marathon Team plays a crucial role in raising much-needed funds to support TCR’s services for grieving children, teens, and families. Runners receive ongoing support from The Children’s Room in reaching their fundraising goals. Thanks to the generosity of the John Hancock Non-Profit Marathon Program, TCR was awarded 6 bibs for the 2020 Boston Marathon. Our Boston Marathon runners, each have a unique story full of personal connections to TCR and strong motivations for running. Learn More

By |January 16th, 2020|Categories: Events, News|0 Comments

The Children’s Room awarded The Cummings Foundation Sustaining Grant of $300,000

The Children’s Room is one of the local nonprofits sharing in The Cummings Foundation’s $25 million grant program in 2019. The Arlington-based organization has been awarded a $300,000 Sustaining Grant, to be disbursed over 10 years. Executive Director Liz Cohen and Philanthropy Director Kim Cayer represented the nonprofit at the May 2 awards night at TradeCenter 128 in Woburn. Read the full article

By |January 1st, 2020|Categories: News|0 Comments

Prince Harry and Normalizing Grief

Grief is a natural byproduct of loss. It has been nearly 22 years since Prince Harry lost his mother at 12-years-old. Prince Harry has only recently opened up about his mental wellbeing to the general public. In a recent interview he explained that “My way of dealing with it was sticking my head in the sand, refusing to ever think about my mum, because why would that help?” Prince Harry's candid admissions of his mental health struggles and journey with grief comes as he campaigns to end the taboo on mental health issues and establishing it as an equal counterpart to other illnesses. The Heads Together Foundation, a mental health initiative spearheaded by The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, aims to destigmatize and alter the conversation on grief and mental health issues. During a recent visit to Empire Fighting Chance in Bristol, England, Prince Harry asked everyone to clear the room so he could talk privately with a boy who lost his father. "The same thing happened to me," he told the boy. Though experiencing a death can be a life-changing event for anyone, childhood and adolescence are crucial periods of development. At The Children's Room we strive to create safe, supportive communities so that no child, teen, or family has to grieve alone. Our services aim to normalize the grieving process, while preserving the understanding that grief doesn't look the same for everyone, every loss is different. TCR's Clinical Director, Nancy Frumer Styron, JD, PsyD, shares “It is amazing to see a new family come through the doors of The Children’s Room for the first time, nervous and unsure, and be warmly welcomed by those who have been here for awhile. By the end [...]

Community in Action: Local Residents Malinda Dublin and Crissy Straub Coach Our 2019 Boston Marathon Team

Marathon Coaches Crissy Straub (left) and Malinda Dublin (right) on a race weekend in Bermuda For the fourth year in a row, The Children's Room is pleased to share that Lexington resident Crissy Straub and Arlington resident Malinda Dublin have generously volunteered their time to coach The Children’s Room’s 2019 "Miles and Memories" Boston Marathon team, as they fundraise and promote awareness for The Children's Room. Crissy and Malinda are lifelong friends and running partners who have run a combined total of 59 marathons to date. In 2015, they decided to form their unique blend of friendship and running experience into a business, MC Coaching, which specifically coaches marathon runners who are running to benefit a charity. Malinda and Crissy share, “This year, as every year since the Boston Marathon bombings, runners, spectators, volunteers, and supporters of the marathon will come together on Patriots’ Day in unity of a day that celebrates motivation, determination and perseverance of the human spirit. Our motivation to coach the team stems from knowing that the marathon fundraising dollars will allow TCR to continue the amazing work they do, and because we believe a supported runner is a happier, healthier and more successful runner and fundraiser. As coaches we strive to empower runners by providing them with tools they need to be successful from day one of training up through race day.” Crissy mentions, "Being able to coach the Children's Room "Miles and Memories" Boston Marathon team is a truly meaningful, fulfilling way for me to support an organization that does such important and necessary work. To be able to help other people while doing an activity which I love is a win-win situation. Running for the greater good is what every [...]

By |February 25th, 2019|Categories: Community Events, News, Newsletter|Tags: , |0 Comments

Holding on to HOPE: Honoring National Children’s Grief Awareness Day 2018

Thursday, November 15th, was National Children’s Grief Awareness Day! We were proud to wear blue to show our support and to connect with the community to raise awareness of the unique needs of grieving children and teens. Leading up to the event, we asked our TCR community to share their thoughts on the importance of grief awareness and support. Their beautiful handwritten reflections were written on blue hearts. Once completed, every two hearts were joined together as a butterfly, symbolizing the integration of grief and awareness and the changes that occur as we support each other with care and understanding. Ultimately, all of the messages we received were gathered and assembled by our incredible interns into one big, beautiful display. Here in Arlington, TCR program staff and interns hosted activities at the Ottoson Middle School and the new Gibbs School. We also hosted activities at John Glenn Middle School in Bedford, Jordan Boys & Girls Club in Chelsea, Lexington High School, and Prospect Hill Academy Charter Middle and High School. At the Yawkey Boys & Girls Club in Roxbury, TCR partnered with the Louis D. Brown Peace Institute to sponsor the activity. As part of these activities, children and teens were invited to honor their grief by placing a blue dot on a large piece of artwork in order to represent a person in their life who died. They were also invited to share their memories and reflections on blue hearts or strips of ribbon. The response was overwhelming! What a meaningful week we had! Thank you to all who participated. You continue to help us envision a world where death and dying are more fully integrated into our lives, which leads to greater compassion, [...]