The Greater Boston area is home to many exceptional nonprofits, but the ones that serve moms are especially close to our hearts. Boston Moms is excited to spotlight and support the local nonprofit organizations that make our area so great.
This month we are showcasing the Massachusetts chapter of the TEARS Foundation.
The Massachusetts chapter of the TEARS Foundation’s mission is to create a safe and comfortable place for bereaved families, professionals, and community members to receive compassionate support and to help families who have experienced pregnancy and infant loss on their journey toward healing.
Join us in celebrating the Massachusetts chapter of the TEARS Foundation by learning more about their mission and donating to their cause HERE!
Where are you located? The TEARS Foundation Center for Child Loss is located in Northborough, MA.
What is your mission? We are a nonprofit organization that seeks to compassionately lift the financial burden from families who have experienced pregnancy, infant, or child loss by providing funds to assist with the cost of burial or cremation services. We are committed to providing comprehensive emotional support for the grief process in the form of grief support groups, peer companions, and remembrance events.
We’ve heard you use the statement “We, as bereaved parents are not attention seeking; we are connection seeking.” Can you explain why that’s so important? Pregnancy and infant loss are still taboo topics in our society because it makes others uncomfortable. Our society stays away from grieving in a healthy way and focuses on quick fixes to get back to “normal” as soon as possible. Bereaved parents who share their stories are letting others know they think of their babies every day and their babies’ lives mattered no matter how short they were. We are not looking for pity; we are only looking to connect with others like we would if a grandparent or loved one had passed on.
Can you talk to us about the Angel of Hope Monument? The Angel of Hope Monument is located in Hyannis, MA, and offers a permanent, reflective space for bereaved families to honor their babies. Submitted names are engraved on the monument once per year. For more information, click here.
What kind of support groups are you offering right now? We have two peer-facilitated support groups that meet virtually each month.
The pregnancy and infant loss support group supports anyone who has experienced pregnancy or early infant loss, including but not limited to miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy, stillbirth, termination for medical reasons, neonatal loss, etc.
Our other support group is for pregnancy and parenting after loss, which is for anyone who is thinking about or trying to conceive again, currently pregnant, or parenting living children following a pregnancy or infant loss. Support partners (spouse/partner, friend, relative) are encouraged to attend.
To register for either group, you can email [email protected] or call or text 671-785-8779.
What are some things someone can do to honor a loss? Healing is a life-long process because the love and dreams you have for your baby do not end. We recommend journaling, finding a support system of others who have experienced similar losses, considering individual therapy, and doing things to honor your baby, whether it’s planting a tree, painting rocks, wearing a special necklace, carrying a worry stone in your pocket, completing a random act of kindness for a stranger, or creating a photo box stored with memories from your pregnancy.
What are some ways we can support our friends or family members who have experienced pregnancy or infant loss? The most important thing loved ones can do is sit back, hold their hand, and listen. Phrases like “at least it was early” or “things happen for a reason” are hurtful, as they diminish the impact of the loss and make bereaved parents question if what they are feeling is normal. We recommend that family and friends offer to bring a meal or purchase a gift card to a nearby restaurant and help with chores like mowing the lawn or driving siblings to activities. Mark down the baby’s due date or first anniversary in your calendar and send a card or text that day. Do not wait for a bereaved parent to contact you for help, as they often do not know the type of support they need. Be the person who still shows up months after the loss.
What do donations go toward? Donations support financial resource programs for low-income families, including burial, funeral, and grave marker cost assistance. Donations also support the necessary operating costs for the Center for Child Loss, as well as funding our emotional support programs such as peer companion training, providing support groups to participants at no cost, creating comfort kits for bereaved families, and offering remembrance events throughout the year. To donate to our chapter, you can click HERE.
Do you have any events coming up? Our next event is the Virtual Wave of Light Ceremony on Friday, October 15, to participate in the International Wave of Light that honors Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day. Bereaved parents, friends, family, and community members are encouraged to light a candle at 7 p.m. in their respective time zones for one hour to create a “wave of light” that circumnavigates the globe. To have a baby’s name added to our ceremony, please visit our website HERE.
Look for the Massachusetts chapter of the TEARS Foundation by visiting their website or on Facebook or Instagram, and donate to their cause HERE!
You can also email them at [email protected] or call or text 617-785-8779.