A Good Grief participant with her father at the September ribbon-cutting celebration.
Lindsey Bischoff (LEFT) and Clara Huergo, Good Grief teen group participants.
“We can talk about those hot summer days and how we would love to smile but Good Grief is currently in the process of raising $100,000 to fund a fourth can’t ﬁnd the strength to. The feedback we receive from others helps to build that weekly Night of Support and hoping to raise an additional $2 million to purchase the strength. If they are able to smile on days like that, we can too!” Mapleton Avenue house and make it their permanent home. Mr. Primo describes Good Grief as “a doorway to hope. Loss touches everybody. Programs at the Princeton headquarters currently serve 29 communities within We all know someone who has faced tragedy. Even when children are at their rock 20 miles, with plans to reach out to grieving children within a 40-mile radius in the bottom, there is a place where hope dwells, and that place is here in this big yellow future. Good Grief also provides workshops, training and educational programs for house.” The large yellow Mapleton Avenue Princeton headquarters of Good Grief schools and community organizations. currently serves more than 160 grieving children and “In the face of loss and tragedy, there are always their parents. well intentioned people who do not know how to react Founded in 2004 in Summit, New Jersey, Good or behave,” explains Mr. Primo, who studied end-of-life Grief grew rapidly and in 2009 moved to Morristown. ethics and counseling at Yale Divinity School and served Three years later, as the number of participating children as a hospice chaplain before coming to Good Grief. and families continued to grow, with many families “In the workplace, human resources ofﬁcials may be traveling over an hour from the central part of New unsure what to do about the tragedy. Schools are often Jersey and eastern Pennsylvania to attend sessions each unsure how to provide support for the students. The week, the Morristown base was no longer adequate. well intentioned approach tends to be off-target. It is our Mercer and Middlesex, respectively, are the New mission to transform each community’s understanding of Jersey counties with the second and third highest what childhood bereavement is and how to respond.” numbers of grieving children in the state. In response to In its ongoing work, Good Grief’s Campaign for the growing need in central Jersey, Good Grief opened Hope fund-raising goal is an ambitious $4 million, with its Princeton branch in 2012, renting space from Trinity half of that planned for purchasing the Princeton center Church and Princeton AlumniCorps to serve about 30 on Mapleton Avenue and the other half to create an families, and the demand continued to increase. Last endowment for program and education expansion. July Good Grief happily moved into its Mapleton In the coming decade, Mr. Primo hopes to see Good Avenue home, and invited the community to a festive Grief adding three more centers to provide greater ribbon-cutting ceremony two months later. accessibility for children and families throughout New There are now three Nights of Support each week, Jersey. “We have expanded over and over again,” he “Happy Birthday” wall at Good Grief’s ﬁrst anniversary “Birthday Party.” with a total of about 60 families involved plus a waiting said, “so that no child has to grieve alone.” list. “The last thing you want to do is put these families on a waiting list,” Ms. Attar explained. ”Grief doesn’t wait. We need to expand.”
FEBRUARY 2016 PRINCETON MAGAZINE
1/15/16 11:15:06 AM
Witherspoon Media Group