On February 2, 2019, Carla J. Armstrong died, leaving her daughter Shevon, and her granddaughter, Nora. “My mother lived with us and was a staple in our family,” said Shevon. “She completed us, like a piece in a puzzle. Nora and I feel incomplete without her; we miss her tremendously.” Shevon and Nora struggled after losing Carla. There were good days here and there, but moving forward was a difficult process- until the Father of Shevon’s church, Grace Church in Newark, gave her information about Good Grief’s programs.
Good Grief launched its Newark satellite program thanks to generous funding from The New York Life Foundation. Good Grief provides free grief support programs for children 6- to 18-years-old who have experienced the death of someone significant in their lives. Children participate in age-specific peer support groups, while their guardians also receive support and learn resilient parenting. Each cycle in Newark meets once a week for 9 weeks, and families can enroll as many times as they need the program.
“Going to Good Grief has been so helpful for me and my daughter. It has given us a comfortable space to learn how to cope with such a significant loss, and to speak with others that understand our experience,” Shevon reflected. “We now know that we are not alone with the sadness and heartbreak that we feel.”
Isolation and loneliness are among the most frequently experienced effects of grief and loss. Through Good Grief, grieving kids and adults get to be with others who understand their experience. Good Grief’s peer support model helps participants by reducing isolation, tapping into resiliency, and creating a safe environment where they can develop healthy coping strategies that promote resilience and hope.
Shevon feels that Good Grief has been a gamechanger for her and Nora. “I think my daughter and I are working better as a team since the loss of my mom,” Shevon said proudly. “We are using the strategies we learn to best help support one another. Good Grief’s programs and the amazing families that attend them give us encouragement that there will be better days ahead. That has been priceless for my family.”
Good Griefremains free to families thanks to the generosity of community partners that host each program cycle, including KIPP NJ Rise Academy. Good Grief’s next cycle in Newark will begin in September 2019.
To learn more about the program, volunteer opportunities, or potential partnerships, please contact Melissa Parrish: Melissa@good-grief.org
Good Grief is respected as a national leader in delivering grief services to children and their families. It is the leading provider of these services in New Jersey, serving over 1,000 children since its founding in 2004. Good Grief is a registered 501(c) (3) tax-exempt non-profit organization whose mission is to provide unlimited, free support to children, teens, and families after the death of a parent or sibling. Servicing more than 164 communities, we operate programs in Morristown, Princeton, Jersey City, and Newark. For more information about Good Grief, please visit our web site www.good-grief.org