Child Loss

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

By |November 4th, 2009|Categories: Advocacy, Child Loss, Community Events, Events, Family Stories, News, Parents Council, Resources, Rituals, Teens||Comments Off on Getting Through the Holidays After the Loss of a Loved One: Sunday Night Discussion – November 8

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Helping a Teen After a Friend’s Death

A heartfelt article by Michelle Deville deals with how she as a parent is trying to help her daughter after the sudden death of her daughter’s teenage friend.

Michelle writes how this mirror her own experience in high school when her friend died in a car accident.  Michelle offers solid advice such as
Don’t ever invalidate the teenager! They do not want to hear things like “you will feel better tomorrow” or “you have been grieving for a week, time to move on”.  Kids need to feel safe and secure to grieve in whatever way feels right to them.
This is especially true when teens have a strong reaction to the death of someone they may not have been close to.  Adults may be confused as to why they were so deeply affected by someone they didn’t know.  Read Michelle’s full post.

Our own Phyllis Silverman writes for Psychology Today

Our own founding board member and child bereavement expert Phyllis Silverman, Ph D is now the official writer for Psychology Today’s new blog “Raising Grieving Children”.  In her inaugural post, she introduces herself and the influences that have shaped her over the years.  Read it here and welcome Phyllis to a new audience.  We are so pleased that she can share her talents with so many grieving families and people who need this information.

Phyllis has a new book available which she co-wrote with Madelyn Kelly called: A Parent’s Guide to Raising Grieving Children: Rebuilding Your Family after the Death of a Loved One.

Live Love Laugh – Cameron G. O’Connor Foundation Fundraiser

3rd Annual Fundraiser to benefit:

The Cameron G. O’Connor Foundation
…. rippling effects ….
Presents an Evening to
Saturday, March 28, 2009
7:30pm – Midnight
Sons of Italy, 19 Prentiss Road, Arlington, MA  02474
Tickets:   $20.00
“The mission of the Cameron G. O’Connor Foundation is to sponsor programs that support the educational needs, athletic pursuits and emotional growth of the youth of our community.”

For more information visit the foundation’s website or email

Christian’s Angels Fundraiser helps families after the death of a child

The CEF Foundation is hosting a pre-Valentine’s Day Dinner and Raffle to benefit Christian’s Angels.

Christian’s Angels is a non-profit organization providing financial assistance to families in need after the death of a child.  Funds raised will also benefit the on-going water safety program of the CEF Foundation.

Friday, Februrary 13, 2009
6 pm to 11 pm
Location: Anthony’s of Malden
105 Canal Street, Malden, MA
Adults: $35 and children under 12 years: $20 (under 6 years of age, free)

The CEF foundation was created after the 2007 drowning death of 4 year old Christian. The CEF Foundation provides life jackets and flotation devices to all children at camps, lakes, beaches and town-run pools across Massachusetts. For more information and to learn more about the family’s efforts and advocacy around water safety, visit the CEF website at

Children’s Room Consults with AFD Theatre on Their Production of Pulitzer Prize-Winning Play: Rabbit Hole

When Arlington Friends of the Drama Theatre Director Kevin Mark Kline wanted to find someone to talk with the Rabbit Hole cast about how families deal with grief, Production Manager Ginger Webb began to make inquiries.  Ginger soon found that all inquiries led her to The Children’s Room.

Rabbit Hole is a Pulitzer Prize-winning play about a family faced with the tragic death of their young child.  When Ginger called The Children’s Room, Program Director Donna Sharff saw her inquiry as a unique opportunity to fufill part of the organization’s mission: to educate the community about grief and loss.  Donna and Program Volunteer Johanneke deVries spent an hour and a half talking with the cast and answering their thoughtful questions about grief and grieving families.  This play mixes humor and deep poignancy to authentically portray the complex issues and challenges that grieving families face and, ultimately highlights the resiliency of the human spirit.  We have had the opportunity to attend a rehearsal and highly recommend AFD Theatre’s production of this prize winning play which opens Friday, February 13 at 8:00 p.m. For more information, visit the AFD Theatre website.

Upcoming Workshop: Helping Children and Adolescents Cope with Death, and Other Stressful Life Events

This workshop is open to the public and is ideal for teachers and other professionals who work with children of all ages. Wednesday, February 18, 2009, 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm (Fee: $25, payable on-line or in person) Location: The Children’s Room, 1210 Massachusetts Avenue, Arlington, MA To register, email  RSVPs are essential as space is limited to create an interactive experience.

50 Volunteers X 4 hours = One Amazing Transformation

As part of the National Day of Service on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, The Children’s Room opened its doors wide to a group of over 50 volunteers of all ages.

Thank you to everyone who volunteered and donated on this inspirational day.

The list of accomplishments is long:

Built shelving for art supplies which we desperately needed so we could store all of the new donations we received.
Built bookshelves for our new, growing library.  We are creating a sunny, cozy library nook for our families.
Moved file cabinets into our new flexible workspace.  (No more looking for files in the freezing cold back hall).
Sewed bags for our closing rock ceremony (very popular with the 11-13 year old set).  These pouches are special keepsakes for our families when they are done with our program.
Built desks for our new workspace.  Now we can spread out our work.
Assembled new office chairs.  Very comfortable.
Fixed the wobbly pool tables!  Both of them!
Built the bench for our garden.
Moved all of our books from different parts of the house to our new library nook.  Lots of lifting involved in that!
Sorted arts and crafts (mainly done by kids! “It was exhausting” one kid reported.  I hope they all slept well afterwards.)
Cleaned the sand table and all the shelving and sorting those toys!  (Our youngest volunteer helped with that project)
Moved heavy objects from one place to another!  Yes we can!  Now the air conditioners have been put away!
Folded our art cards so we can give them out.
Stuffed envelopes for our mailing to 300+ schools to spread the word about our trainings

And the entire house was left cleaner than when the day started.   We are so thankful.

Many, many people came by and donated ARTS & CRAFTS SUPPLIES.  […]

Worldwide Candlelighting 7 pm to 8 pm Sunday, December 14th

Wherever you are in the world, light a candle in memory of a child that died. The Worldwide Candlelighting was started by the Compassionate Friends, and international organization that supports friends and families after the death of a child.

Visit The Compassionate Friends and their new website for more information.

The Compassionate Friends offers support groups for adults grieving the death of a child (of any age) and have support groups all around the world, including many in our local area.

The Compassionate Friends also sponsor an annual conference/retreat for families.  The next conference will be in the summer of 2009 in Portland, Oregon.

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