About Good Grief

Good Grief’s mission is to provide unlimited and free support to children, teens, young adults, and families after the death of a mother, father, sister, or brother through peer support programs, education, and advocacy.
“Without Good Grief, I’d probably be lost and so would my family.” Clara, 16-years-old


Since 2004, Good Grief has pursued its mission of ensuring that no child in New Jersey ever has to grieve alone. Thanks to the vision and leadership of our staff and Board of Directors, our ambitious goals and determination are flanked by milestones that are the direct result of our partnerships and the vital role we have in more than 180 communities. The scope of our impact is the result of our welcoming and interactive homes in Morristown and Princeton, New Jersey, our Spanish-speaking program, robust educational workshops, impressive partnerships, “The Whole Child Initiative,” and our highly dedicated volunteers. We are incredibly proud that our history and expertise have made a difficult subject approachable while mobilizing so many people, communities, and partners with the resources needed to decrease the risk factors associated with childhood bereavement. We hope you will be a part of our future.

Take a Tour

Members of the community can get an introduction to our mission, programs, and facilities by attending one of our impactful open houses. If you are considering finding a way to get involved with Good Grief, whether as a volunteer, donor, or advocate in the community a tour of our center is the best way to find out more, ask questions, meet staff, and become a part of our community. Open houses are approximately 75 minutes long and offer a quick, but thorough introduction to all things Good Grief!

To sign up, visit our calendar!

Individual and group tours can also be arranged by contacting info@good-grief.org or 908-522-1999.

 NOTE: This tour is not for interested peer support program participants. Please contact one of our Family Coordinators to learn more about enrolling in our programs.


Since 2007 Joe has helped build a robust, fiscally responsible, energetic, and highly impactful organization for children, teens, and families who are grieving. He came to Good Grief after supporting many young parents dying in hospice. As CEO, Joe is an ambassador for Good Grief throughout New Jersey, and a passionate advocate for changing the conversation on grief and bereavement. Joe is the author of What Do We Tell the Children?: Talking to Kids About Death and Dying, Abingdon Press, 2013 and “The Business of Grief,” At the End of Life: True Stories About How We Die, CNF Press, 2012. Joe is the Immediate-Past President of the National Alliance for Grieving Children, where he has been on the Board of Directors since 2010. He is a graduate of Yale University, where he studied ethics and end of life counseling. Most importantly, Joe is obsessed with cake, music, hiking, pizza, biking, and Airstream trailers in that order.

Joseph M. Primo, MDiv.
Email: joseph@good-grief.org
Phone: 908.522.1999 x8011

As Director of Operations for Gg, Moira is responsible for the day to day operations, from bills to HR to lightbulbs and everything in between. Gg is so much more than the rooms between its walls. Gg is an understanding; an acceptance of each individual’s unique journey with grief; it is a place to grow. Moira is grateful for the warmth, patience and generosity of Gg’s volunteers, staff and families that provides the safe environment for each child to discover their map for their journey.

Moira Clarkin
Director of Operations
Email: moira@good-grief.org
Phone: 908.522.1999 x8001

As Director of Development for Gg, Courtney is responsible for raising funds to help ensure that the Gg programs remain free for all our families, and the organization can continue to grow and expand. Courtney grew up in Princeton, New Jersey and attended Stuart County Day School in Princeton. She continued on to Villanova University, where she studied Communication, with a concentration in Media/Advertising. Courtney has a long and successful track record at several non-profit organizations, including The American Cancer Society, The American Diabetes Association, and The Advancement Office at The Lawrenceville School. Courtney joined Good Grief in July 2015 and after many years of meaningful nonprofit work. She is proud to be a part of the mighty Gg team and super excited to help move the mission forward.

Courtney Hodock
Director of Development
Email: courtney@good-grief.org
Phone: 609.498.6674 x8010

As Program Director for Good Grief in Morristown, Melissa Stackpole-Parrish is responsible for building and maintaining effective leadership of all aspects of Good Grief's programs. Melissa joined Good Grief in 2009 as an intern, and has since held various roles within the organization, including Program Assistant, Volunteer Recruiter, and Trainer. Melissa attended Fairleigh Dickinson University and continued on to Montclair State University, receiving her MA in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. She has previous experience working as a Licensed Associate Counselor with children through adults. Melissa is energized by being a part of Good Grief's passionate team: creating supportive, empathic communities for all grieving families.

Melissa Stackpole-Parrish MA, LAC, NCC
Program Director
Email: melissa@good-grief.org
Phone: 908.522.1999 x8003

Jesse is responsible for Good Grief's education programs in the external community. Through education and advocacy, Good Grief is working to transform the environments that grieving children inhabit on a daily basis like schools, community and faith organizations, other nonprofits, and more. Good Grief uses workshops, curriculum, and coaching to increase community awareness and competency in providing support to grieving children and their families. Jesse grew up in Washington state and made his way out to New Jersey for graduate school, earning a Master of Divinity from Princeton Theological Seminary. While at PTS, Jesse focused his studies on ethics, spirituality, and counseling. Jesse joined Good Grief after completing a graduate internship, working first as a Program Director before taking on this educational role. Jesse's favorite thing about Good Grief is the incredible community of families, volunteers, and staff who inspire him with their stories and desire to wrestle with life's big questions.

Jesse W. Bassett, M.Div
Director of Education and Learning
Email: jesse@good-grief.org
Phone: 609.498.6674 x8013

As Program Manager of the “In Community” initiative at Good Grief, Whitney is responsible for extending Good Grief services to families in underserved communities. Whitney joined the Good Grief team after living in West Africa for the two years as an English and Gender Equality Volunteer with the Peace Corps. Serving as a 7th grade English teacher in Togo fostered a love for working with youth and supporting communities through education. In this new venture at Good Grief, she is constantly humbled in being part of an organization where each member works tirelessly to ensure that no child or family in New Jersey ever has to feel alone in their grief.

Whitney Allen
Program Manager of “In Community”
Email: whitney@good-grief.org
Phone: 609.498.6674 x8004

Malena is Development Associate for Gg. She works with both the Development and Program teams, with her main focus on communications and marketing. Malena uses these platforms to spread the hope, courage, and life-changing lessons that occur within the two beautiful Gg centers. Malena is inspired on a daily basis, by Gg families, her fellow facilitators, the surrounding communities, and Gg’s amazing staff. She feels privileged to be a part of a mission that is not only changing the culture around grief, but one that is creating more compassionate and supportive communities.

Malena Attar
Development Associate
Email: malena@good-grief.org
Phone: 609.498.6674 x8008

As Program Manager at Good Grief's Princeton center, Caitie is responsible for planning and implementation of Nights of Support and spreading awareness of Good Grief in the community. She started as a volunteer facilitator in Summer 2015 and has always been inspired by the warm and caring environment Good Grief offers children, families, and volunteers. She is motivated by helping others and is proud to be a part of an organization with such a strong mission.

Caitie Bossart
Program Manager
Email: caitie@good-grief.org
Phone: 609.498.6674 x8015

As Development Assistant for Gg, Heather works with the development team to help raise funds and coordinate events for Gg. Heather was inspired to join the Gg team and to support the mission by a dear friend who grew up coping with the loss of both a parent and a sibling. She is inspired, amazed and touched by the passion, healing and overall good that occurs daily in the Good Grief community.

Heather Goodman
Development Assistant
Email: heather@good-grief.org
Phone: 609.498.6674 x8014

Christina is the Program Manager at Good Grief in Morristown. She is responsible for the planning and implementation of Nights of Support and is a Team Coordinator for Nights of Support. Christina went to the school at UMass Amherst and went on to her get MSW from Fordham University. Christina is passionate about providing support for children and families. She is inspired by Good Grief’s team and excited to be a part of organization that creates such a warm and welcoming community for grieving families.

Christina Morris
Program Manager
Email: christina@good-grief.org
Phone: 908.522.1999 x8009

Rachel is the Family Coordinator for Good Grief in Morristown. As Family Coordinator, Rachel is responsible for family orientations, providing on-going support to families and maintaining a supportive relationship with participants. Rachel began volunteering at Gg in 2006, became a volunteer facilitator in 2008 and joined the staff in 2010. Rachel feels truly fortunate to be a part of Good Grief. She believes in the mission and sees firsthand how the program has changed the lives of Gg’s participants and volunteers.

Rachel O’Brien
Family Coordinator
Email: rachel@good-grief.org
Phone: 908.522.1999 x8012

As Princeton Family Coordinator, Patty is the point of contact for families who are interested in Gg's services, and is responsible for Family Orientations, which offer families a safe and supportive introduction to the organization. Patty is inspired daily by Gg's unique mission and dedicated staff. She feels grateful for the opportunity to meet families at their most vulnerable and offer them a safe and compassionate environment to begin their grief journey. For Patty, it's a privilege to witness the comfort that participant families bring to one another, along with the relationships formed through Gg's peer support groups.

Patty Ryan
Family Coordinator
Email: patty@good-grief.org
Phone: 609.498.6674 x8006

Pam is Alumni Coordinator for Gg in Morristown and Princeton and staff liaison to the Family Advisory Board. Pam is responsible for building and maintaining an on-going relationship with the alumni families of the Gg programs, and working with the Family Advisory Board to obtain feedback for Program staff and provide support to Development staff. Pam feels fortunate to be working with a team of people whose work ethic is as big as their hearts. She is passionate about Gg's mission because she is able to witness first hand the effects that the program has on families, it is a gift to be a part of and her life has been enhanced as a result. Pam was in the first class of facilitators trained at Gg in 2007, and has been a loving listener ever since.

Pam Sullivan
Alumni Coordinator
Email: pam@good-grief.org
Phone: 908.522.1999 x8007

Mary joined Good Grief in January 2008, first as a volunteer facilitator, and then as a member of the staff in 2010. As Education Consultant for Gg, Mary develops and delivers a variety of learning programs about loss and grief for our facilitators, our families, for schools, community organizations, and businesses. She is a retired educator and elementary school principal, holding a Doctorate in Education from Columbia University and a Certificate in Thanatology from the Association for Death Education and Counseling. Mary loves working at Gg, being part of this caring community, and having the opportunity to help others learn about grief and loss as well and to understand how to support those who are grieving.

Mary Fleck
Education Consultant


Board of Directors

Our Board of Directors is the strategic brainpower of our mission. These exceptional leaders not only have extraordinary resumes and life experience, but they also have unwavering passion for and commitment to this mission. This hardworking team of leaders moves Good Grief forward each and every day.

2018 Board of Directors

Linda Hough – Chair, MBA, CPA

Jennifer Leonard – Vice-Chair, Head of HR, Global Support Functions, Sanofi

Sean Leonard – Treasurer, President, The Leonard Group, LLC

Ted Grover – Secretary, Owner, ESG, Inc.

Leigh Porges – Immediate Past Chair, Founder, Onegift, Inc.

Ellen CookVice President, Real Estate and Facilities at Crum & Forster

James Demetriades, Vice President, Princeton Healthcare Systems

Mark Durham, Managing Partner, Strawn Arnold & Associates

Jeanette Falotico, Trinity Consulting, Good Grief mom

John McDermott, JD, Managing Director, UBS

Robert Meirowitz, MD, President, Princeton Gastroenterology Associates

Tom Rice, retired executive, Credit Suisse Bank

Patrick Sullivan, Managing Director, Private Advisor Group

Jeri Thomas, Senior Vice President, The Medicine Company (Medco)

Irv Urken, Northwestern Mutual, former Princeton Councilman

Special Thanks To

A Little Hope Foundation
Andrea and Victor Richel Family Foundation
Bayer Foundation
Christine’s Hope for Kids Foundation
Church & Dwight
Community Foundation of NJ
E. F. Harris Family Foundation
E.J. Grassmann Trust
F.M. Kirby Foundation, Inc
First Data Foundation
George A. Ohl, Jr. Charitable Trust
Glen Ridge Community Fund
Green Family Foundation
Healey Family Foundation
Jennifer Swift Fieldman Foundation
Jewish Community Foundation
Leen Foundation
MCJ Amelior Foundation
New York Life Foundation
NJ Association of Student Councils
O’Toole Family Foundation
Overlook Hospital Foundation
Pioneer Boys of America Inc.
Princeton Area Community Foundation
The Provident Bank Foundation
PSEG Foundation
Rite Aid Foundation KidCents
Santiago Abut Foundation, Inc
Selective Insurance Group Foundation
Summit Area Public Foundation
TD Bank
The Allstate Foundation
The Alpine Foundation
The Berk Foundation
The Greater Cincinnati Foundation
The Hyde and Watson Foundation
The John Bickford Foundation
The Steven M. Rothbard Foundation
The Willis Foundation
Thomas Glasser Foundation
Union Center National Bank
Union Foundation
United Way
United Way of Northern New Jersey
Walter and Adi Blum Foundation
Weil, Gotshal & Manges Foundation, Inc
William and Catherine Krame Family Foundation
William E. Simon Foundation
York Children’s Foundation

Where You Can Find Us

Morristown, NJ

Princeton, NJ

Where You Can Find Us

Morristown, NJ

Princeton, NJ