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Norfolk/Wrentham - Local Town Pages

Mother’s Luncheon Set for November 20 Annual Gilly’s House Event Helps Grieving Mothers Move Forward

By Grace Allen


Losing a child of any age is a profound and painful experience for a mother, and the grief never ends. A yearly luncheon hosted by a local non-profit attempts to acknowledge that grief and offer a way forward through the often-crippling sadness.

The 4th annual Gilly’s House Mother’s Luncheon will be held at noon on November 20 at Chabad Jewish Center in Milford. The luncheon will include speakers, goody bags, and raffles. The event is free, with food provided by the Chabad Jewish Center. 

Barbara Gillmeister, co-founder of Gilly’s House, a sober home for young men, says the luncheon is for mothers who have lost a child for any reason but are still stuck in the grieving process.

“It could be last week, it could be twenty years ago,” said Gillmeister. “We want to help mothers shift their approach to grief by demonstrating that something positive can come out of tragedy.”

The yearly event features speakers who discuss how they found new purpose after losing a child. At this year’s luncheon, South Shore resident Robyn Houston-Bean will be one of the scheduled speakers. Her foundation, The Sun Will Rise, offers grief support groups for those who have lost a loved one to substance abuse disorder. Houston-Bean established the foundation after losing her own son to an accidental overdose in 2015.

The mother’s luncheon is always held in November before the holiday season, which can be especially painful for mothers who have lost a child, noted Gillmeister. Her hope is that grieving mothers, by attending the event, will consider how they can move forward to honor the memory of their child by giving of themselves for others. She recounts the example of a woman who lost a daughter to suicide and now bakes cakes for the men at Gilly’s House.

“It doesn’t have to be a big thing that helps you on your grief journey,” said Gillmeister. “Something that might seem small to you could be amazing to someone else. And it gives mothers a chance to help others when they can’t help their own anymore.”

To register for the luncheon, or for more information, visit The event is capped at 80 attendees, but there will be a waiting list if necessary.

Sponsors of the event include Kim Williams Real Estate (Norfolk), Charles River Bank (Medway), SK Services (Walpole), Robert Roofing & Gutters (Norfolk), AG Maggiore Construction (Hingham), and the Holly Club of Wrentham. Contact Gilly’s House if your organization would like to help sponsor the event.