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

Father's Day is Sunday, June 18th. 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.

Thank You to This Year's 
Circle of Hope Breakfast Sponsors

We are extremely grateful to all of the sponsors of this year's May 4th Circle of Hope Breakfast.

Collectively our sponsors underwrote the entire cost of the breakfast, video, and print materials. This means that every dollar we raised at the event will go directly to supporting our programs for grieving children, teens, and families. 

Special thanks to:


And our  GENERAL SPONSOROld Grove Partners.

We also send warm thanks to  Blooms of Hope  for donating flower arrangements that helped make this event so beautiful.   

A Special Event at Brandeis University
Honors One of Our Founders, Dr. Phyllis Silverman
Dr. Phyllis Silverman, M.D.

On April 19th, Brandeis University's Women's Studies Research Center hosted a special event to celebrate the remarkable life and legacy of one of our founders, Dr. Phyllis Silverman. Phyllis received her PhD from the Heller School at Brandeis and, most recently, she had been Scholar in Residence at the Women's Studies Research Center.
The focal point of the evening was a panel of Phyllis's professional collaborators. This panel included representatives from many of the fields in which Phyllis's work had a direct impact, including: men's bereavement; pediatrics and psychiatry; clinical work and practice; and music and art therapy. Phyllis's work and ongoing legacy at The Children's Room was represented on the panel by Colleen Shannon, MSW, LICSW, Associate Program Director - Youth & Community Outreach. Phyllis's daughter, Gila S. Silverman, PhD, provided concluding remarks; Gila is currently synthesizing her mother's work on continuing bonds with her own ethnographic research on American Jewry.
As an author, teacher, and researcher, Phyllis was a pioneer in the field of bereavement whose career spanned over 40 years. Her passion helped conceptualize TCR; her tenacity helped make TCR a reality; her friendship helped TCR grow. As board member emeritus, she continued to provide steadfast support for the organization until just a few months before her death on June 10, 2016. 
As Colleen Shannon concluded in her remarks on the night of the event, " Phyllis helped teach so many of us about the importance of continuing to remember and construct a relationship with the people we care about who have died. I know that there will always be a part of Phyllis in the work that I and my colleagues do. She lives on in us, through our memories, stories and perhaps most importantly in the ways that we are able to work with and support grieving children and families." 
A Recent Workshop  Helps
Educators to Support Young Children

On April 25th, TCR Education Director Deborah Rivlin, MA, presented a grief education workshop entitled, "If We Lost Uncle Davey, Why Don't We Just Go and Find Him?". The workshop for preschool and elementary school educators explored strategies for helping young children (ages 3 to 8) understand and cope with death, loss, and other stressful life events.
Such events challenge the coping skills of children as well as the adults working with the children. Deborah helped attendees explore some common questions that arise when supporting young children, such as:  
  • How do we give young children sad and difficult news?
  • How do young children grieve? Is it different from adults?
  • At what age is it appropriate to attend a funeral?
  • What is the school's responsibility when a death in the school community occurs? 
When the adults in a child's life have an understanding of how young children understand and cope with loss from their developmental lens and have a tool bag of language and strategies to support the children, they feel prepared for any situation that may arise. Having attended the workshop, participants will be better prepared to offer honest, age-appropriate support for young children in their own communities.
As one attendee shared: "I just wanted to take a minute to let you know how much I enjoyed today's workshop. In my six years of going to these professional development workshops, I can honestly say that today was by far the best one. I found it to be relevant, moving, well-prepared and I am definitely going to bring back many of the strategies and activities to my classroom."    
Our Teen Program:
Creativity, Exploration, and Support
TCR Teen Mosaic Workshop, guided by local Mosaics Artist Emily Bhargava 

Our Teen Program has been full of activity as our Program Year draws to a close!

TCR Teen Mosaic Workshop: 
"Putting the Pieces Together"

On April 29th, a group of teens spent time creating together at TCR's Teen Mosaic Workshop ! Emily Bhargava, a  mosaics  artist from the area, gave generously of her time and skills, demonstrating techniques and bringing in a variety of materials for the teens to explore. Stained glass, tiles, hexagons, ceramics, beads, colored glass stones, smoothed pebbles, keys, and more - the teens had a wide range of options to make each 8" x 8"  mosaic  unique! The visiting artist also provided each teen with a demonstration and take-home kit so that they could grout their  mosaics  at a later date, once their pieces were dry.

With the theme of "Putting the Pieces Together," the teens brought their own meaning and symbolism into their artworks. Each teen was also invited to incorporate a photograph of their family member or image(s) representing memories, securing them behind glass within the  mosaic .  

One teen shared, "I really liked this workshop . . . I had a lot of fun!" and described it later as the high point of her past week. Another encouraged any teens considering joining a future Teen Program event to "Take the plunge, and try it!"

TCR Teen Outdoor Adventure Event

TCR and YMCA staff with Teen Program participants at our Outdoor Adventure Event
On May 20th, a group of TCR teens visited the MetroWest YMCA's Family Outdoor Center to build their skills through team-related challenges and then ascend a series of high-ropes obstacles set amongst the trees! The group worked cooperatively to brainstorm creative solutions, try new skills, and overcome fears, all the while demonstrating encouragement towards one another. The YMCA staff facilitated the on-site activities--providing structure, support, supervision of the safety harness systems, and debrief of the tasks, relating them to real-life experiences. As a final challenge, the teens collaborated to complete a high-ropes obstacle that required each of their physical efforts, focus, and brainpower to achieve! One teen, attending a Teen Program event for the first time, shared having experienced that "If you try, you can accomplish your goal-- and it's fun!"

TCR Resiliency Panel Discussion for Teens

Our last Teen Program event of the year will take place on June 3, when we will host a Resiliency Panel Discussion especially for high-school teens. This will be a unique opportunity for high-school teens to hear from and ask questions of a panel of young adults. Teens will be able to hear how these young adults navigated being a teen, branching into young adulthood, coping with challenging days, and making decisions about when, where, and how to share about their past losses. 

Registration is required. For more information contact

Our Heartfelt Thanks

Warm thanks to  A Yard & A Half Landscaping Cooperative, Inc. , who came with a full team to prune and prep our gardens. 

We appreciate all of your efforts to get The Children's Room ready for spring!

Volunteer in Our Garden

Are you interested in gardening for a good cause?

Our garden volunteers play an important role in making The Children's Room a welcoming and peaceful place for grieving children, teens, and families.

The Children's Room holds several Garden Volunteer Days throughout the year. We're also looking for volunteers interested in helping us out with routine weeding and maintenance between the larger group days.

If you are interested in learning more, please contact us at or call 781-641-4741.

Community Tours

To RSVP for a scheduled tour or for more information, please contact  or call Becca at
781-641-4741 ext. 334.

Shopping With A Purpose

Please remember to support TCR when you shop on Amazon!

A portion of your eligible purchases will be donated to TCR when you shop through

Vehicle Donation Program

The Children's Room has partnered with Donate for Charity to make it fast and easy to donate your old vehicle to TCR. Your vehicle will be picked up - free of charge! - from anywhere and TCR will receive a donation in the amount of the vehicle's value.
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1210 Massachusetts Avenue, Arlington, MA 02476


Phone: 781-641-4741   

Fax: 781-641-0012