The loss of a child brings challenges that can be very overwhelming.

BTF is pleased to have engaged the following

services & professionals as resources to our families:

Child Caskets

At New Melleray Abbey, the monks view the crafting of child caskets as a corporal work of mercy, and a way to bring some small measure of comfort to families who bear the tragedy of burying a child. The donation of child caskets to families is an important ministry of the monks of New Melleray Abbey. The monks feel this is a small way to touch the lives of people in the outside world, while remaining true to their vocation.

Phone: (888) 433-6934

Funeral Homes & Advisor

McComas Funeral Home

McComas Funeral Home began in 1808 by Aaron McComas, a veteran of the Revolutionary War. In recent times, the business has been continued by Howard K. McComas Ill, and today, by Howard K. McComas IV and Holly K. MeComas. What began over 200 years ago, has evolved to now include six generations. Family is still at the core of who we are, but our family has grown over the years to include not only the people who work with us, but also and above all, the families we serve. You’ve made it possible for us to continue doing what we care about every day, celebrating a life lived. For that, you will always have our deepest gratitude. Always consider yourself family.

Phone: 410-676-4600

Highview Funeral Home

Rebecca Orr & Steve Coster

Nestled on 80 beautiful acres, Highview is Harford County’s only funeral home, crematory and memorial garden all in one convenient location.

Offering the compassion, attentiveness and affordability that comes with choosing a family owned and operated provider, Highview gives you the peace of mind in knowing that everything is taken care of.

Whether you have experienced a loss or are interested in preplanning, let us help guide you through the options available for you and your family. Together, we will make sure every detail is covered.

Phone: 410-941-5492

Rebecca Orr –
Steve Coster –

Cremation & Funeral Alternatives

Brent D. Francis, P.A.

Cremation and Funeral Alternatives is a comprehensive alternative to traditional funeral homes. They offer cremations and burials, viewings, memorial services, church funerals and graveside services, personalized memorials and caring personal support–all for hundreds or even thousands of dollars less. They offer dignified direct cremation for only $995.00.

Contact: Brent Francis
Phone: 410-321-1005

Connelly Cremation and Funeral Services

Since 1924 the Connelly family has proudly served their surrounding communities by providing personalized funeral services. Now with the opening of Connelly Cremation and Funeral Services in 2019, Terry Connelly, Jr., a licensed mortician since May of 2000, is honored to continue his 30 years of service by providing affordable cremation and alternative funeral services to the area.
Phone: 410-949-1231

Connelly Funeral Home of Essex

From generation to generation the Connelly family has continued a tradition of personalized service for its surrounding communities. In 1924 John Gordon Connelly Sr. opened the funeral home on Eastern Avenue in Essex. Later, in 1961 Mr. Connelly relocated the funeral home to Mace Avenue. By 1967 Mr. Connelly’s two sons John Gordon Connelly, Sr. and Charles O. Connelly, Sr. took over the family business.

Today Terry Connelly, Sr. is the present owner of the funeral home. He is a 1969 graduate of the American Academy McAllister Institute in New York City and is a licensed mortician. He also is a graduate of the Kenwood High School Class of 1964 and a member of the Kenwood Career Hall of Fame.

Phone: 410-687-7100

Zellman Funeral Home

Since our founding, the guiding principle of Zellman Funeral Home, P.A. has been the commitment to treating each family who comes to us as our own. With sincerity, pride, and dedication, we are committed to this time-honored tradition.

Our family opened the doors of the funeral home years ago. Our reputation for providing the highest quality of service grew, and today we are privileged to serve hundreds of area families each year.

In recent years, we’ve gathered together a staff of highly-qualified and deeply caring individuals to assist us in continuing the funeral home’s mission of providing excellence in service to families in their time of need.

Whether you have an immediate need for our services or you wish to begin pre-planning a funeral arrangement for you or someone you love, call us. We will be proud to serve you.

Phone: 410-939-2882
Address: 123 South Washington Street
Havre de Grace, MD 21078

Funeral Services Advisor

Doug Restrick

We are pleased to announce we have engaged Doug Restrick as our Funeral Service Advisor to help serve our families. Planning your child’s funeral is extremely difficult and it can be a very confusing process for our families with so many options available. Following a life-long service oriented career in non-profit, for-profit, faith-based, health care & government entities, Doug continues to serve his community as an elder care and family advisor and is a funeral celebrant. He will join us when meeting with our families to help guide them through this process.


Support Groups

BTF Vilomah Companions

We are very excited to announce the launching of our BTF Vilomah Companion program. A volunteer program where an existing BTF parent will be the contact for a new family.

In our search to find the word to represent parents who have lost a child, we found Tim May’s article entitled “Vilomah: Meaning and Origin of a Powerful Word”, he explains that a Duke University Professor, Professor Holloway, began using the word. Vilomah means “against a natural order.” Professor Holloway began using the term when she discovered there was no English word that gave meaning to a parent whose child had died.”

When we first connect with a new family, we determine & assist with their immediate needs but our mission is to provide support to our families throughout their grief journey which we all know is forever. That is where our BTF Vilomah Companion program comes in. Our Companions will stay in touch with their BTF parent consistently, meet in person if desired, check in on important dates (child birthdate, date they passed), etc.

This program enables our existing BTF parents an opportunity to help others now going thru what they themselves went thru when they lost their own child and is an important part of fulfilling our mission to support all of the families we serve.

BTF Grandparents

Chaired by Mickey Heyl, Brandon’s Gram

BTF Grandparents, our Grandparents Group, is designed to bring together the Grandparents for the families we serve.  Within this group, Grandparents feel the bond and enjoy each other’s company.  While they share their losses, they also find themselves laughing which surprised them all.  Members get together in a variety of ways where and how they feel comfortable.  Our closed Facebook group provides members the ability to speak freely about their grief and struggles.

“As Grandparents we deal with double loss – the loss our children are going through and our grief for the loss of our Grandchild.  We welcome all Grandparents who feel they need this understanding.” – Mickey 

Grandparents of our families can join the group simply reach out to Mickey on Facebook at or via at She will then invite them to join the closed Facebook group and keep them abreast of their get togethers.


Like-Hearted Fundraising

Partnered with gofundme

The Brandon Tolson Foundation provides, Like-Hearted Fundraising, thirty (30) days of gross dollar fundraising for our families in need. For information, contact Pam Long at

Grief Counseling

Gilchrist Grief Counseling

Gilchrist offers grief counseling services to anyone in the community who has experienced a loss and is a resource to our families as they navigate their grief journey. After a child dies, you may feel lost and overwhelmed. At the same time, you may struggle with sadness, intense emotional pain and even anger. Gilchrist’s master’s prepared clinical counselors offer one-on-one counseling that can help guide you through your own unique stages of grief—leading you to a life that is different but still rich in meaning. Working with a counselor one-on-one can help you sort out your emotions and navigate your grief journey. Gilchrist also offers grief support groups, workshops, remembrance events and grief resources. Our counselors have expertise in the loss of a child and are recognized by the Association for Death Education and Counseling for competence in bereavement. To learn more or request grief support, contact Gilchrist’s care navigators at 888.823.8880 or visit and please be sure to mention you are a BTF family.   

Navin & Associates, P.A.

Jackie Navin

Jackie Navin and her Associates have partnered with BTF for grief counseling.

Address: 1220 E. Churchville Road, Bel Air, MD 21014
Phone: 410-638-5422

Other Services

Ashes InFused Glass Cremation Art Service

Joele Williams

Joele Williams (pronounced Joe-Lee) is a professional artist, art teacher & Mom. She is a veteran glass artist and fused glass teacher with more than 17 years of experience in kiln formed glass. She began working with cremation ash when a friend’s father passed and he asked if she could make him something with ashes. She was amazed at what a challenge it was to work with the ashes and spent over 3 years studying cremation ash and its effects inside kiln formed glass by offering her service for free to family and friends.

After her Mom passed away, she felt her calling me to make this cremation art available to the public. Some of the things you see in her shop are creations she has made for her mom, for her family, for her friends and herself. She says she “feels very connected to spirit and all of my paintings and fused glass art are a reflection of that connection. I am always gentle and respectful of spirit when I infuse ashes into my art and try to connect to each client. As a Teacher and Professional Artist I put my experience and total loving energy into every work of art no matter how small. I love what I do and will spend the rest of my life connecting to my creative spirit. Connecting to my inner Consciousness. Connecting to spirit. Conscious art is about pure awareness. Consciousness can be aware of anything, including itself. It is found only in living entities, and therefore it is the source of the living force. Energy at it’s essence. We are all made from this. Energy never dies, it simply transforms.”

Derek Hopkins, the Register of Wills for Harford County, is a resource to help our families navigate the process of opening their child’s estate.

Register of Wills for Harford Co

Derek Hopkins

The Honorable Derek K. Hopkins was sworn into office as the Register of Wills for Harford County on the evening of November 30, 2010 and started on December 1, 2010. The Hopkins family has lived in Harford County for generations. Derek is married to Katrina Hopkins and they have two children, Tim and Emma.

Prior to Derek becoming Register of Wills he was a full time auctioneer, estate appraiser, and a third generation real estate agent, who has focused on estate services. Derek is a graduate of North Harford High School, where he served in the FFA and as Maryland State FFA Vice President. After high school he attended Virginia Tech with a focus on business management, and worked in the Swine Research Center. Derek is a graduate of the Missouri Auction School, Kansas City, MO. He also is a graduate of the three-year Certified Auctioneer Institute at Indiana University, Bloomington, IN.

Hopkins is a past 4-H member, and has been an active volunteer in 4-H for years. He joined the Darlington Volunteer Fire Company at the age of 16, where he served as a firefighter and EMS member. After buying a home in Pylesville, he joined the Whiteford Volunteer Fire Company, where he is an active firefighter, EMS driver, and past president of the company. Derek has served in many other roles at the company as well. During the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, he was sent by FEMA to be deployed to Mississippi where he served over a month helping the citizens of the gulf coast. Derek has also served on a number of other community groups. He is a member of Harford County’s Agricultural Advisory Board and is passionate about saving the agricultural industry.

Derek grew up on the Hopkins Family farm in Darlington, where he says he learned his hard work ethic from his great-grandmother, Hazel Hopkins, and grandfather, Harry G. Hopkins. The family farm is now in farm preservation. Derek resides in Pylesville with his wife Katrina, who has worked for the State of Maryland’s Court System for over 12 years. The family spends a lot of time now working on their small farm, where they have dairy goats, beef cattle, and chickens. 4-H is a big part of their family life and it allows them to spend a lot of family time together.

Mutual Fire Insurance Building
18 Office Street – 1st Floor
Bel Air, Maryland 21014