Orientation is required for families who wish to enroll in Good Grief’s programs and are arranged by appointment on an individual basis for each family. Orientations are held on weekdays in the late afternoon and early evening, though other times can be arranged if necessary. Please call the Good Grief office to speak with a Family Coordinator (Morristown: 908-522-1999, ext. 8012 or Princeton: 609-498-6674 x8006) if you would like to schedule an orientation for your family.
What to Expect at the Orientation
The orientation takes place in our comfortable Orientation Room and usually lasts for about an hour. This is an opportunity for a family to see our home and learn about what happens on a Night of Support. It is also a time when the family can share their story and memories about the person who has died. Each family member is also invited to make a leaf in honor of the person who died and place it on our Memory Tree. The goal of the orientation is to help each child in the family feel that Good Grief is a safe, comfortable and welcoming place where they will be able to experience the support of their peers. To demonstrate this, we review some of our family-friendly rules – a participant can always “pass” if he/she doesn’t want to participate; confidentiality is assured, meaning “what is said here stays here”; and all emotions are accepted. Also, it’s okay to have fun!
Your First Night of Support
Attending a first Night of Support can be stressful for a family since it is a new experience for them. They might feel anxious about meeting new people and they might feel uncertain about what will actually happen. This is certainly understandable. We try to smooth this transition by having our staff welcome them when they arrive, introduce them to other families who are in their peer group, and introduce them to their group facilitators. And we make sure everyone is offered a slice of pizza! Regardless of how anxious family members might feel when they arrive for their first Night of Support, they usually leave with a smile of relief on their faces after making some new friends who understand their situation.