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 Communications, Malena uses communications and marketing 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 Good Grief families, her fellow facilitators, the surrounding communities, and Good Grief'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
Director of Communications
Email: malena@good-grief.org
Phone: 609.498.6674 x8008

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 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 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

As a Development Assistant for Good Grief, Holly researches and writes grants to help sustain and grow Good Grief’s mission. After retiring from a career as a regulatory compliance and appellate litigation attorney in 2017, Holly was inspired by friends of the Gg community and her own grief journey to become a volunteer facilitator. As a facilitator, she has been privileged to witness firsthand how Good Grief’s programming helps grieving children and their families experience healing and connection in a compassionate, caring environment. She is grateful to be part of this empathetic community, helping to continue and expand the reach of Good Grief’s life-changing mission of supporting grieving families in all of their environments.

Holly Barbera
Development Assistant
Email: holly@good-grief.org

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

Kate started out at Good Grief an intern in the summer of 2016! As Development Assistant, she assists in planning events, and ensuring families support in their time of need through fundraising. Kate studied psychology and social work at Montclair State University. Having been a grieving teen herself, Kate knows the importance of Good Grief's work, and she is thrilled to be part of an organization that advocates for, educates, and provides a safe space for grieving children.

Kate DeLeon
Development Assistant
Email: kate@good-grief.org
Phone: 609.498.6674 x 8021

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

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

As Development Associate for Good Grief, Heather works with the development team to help raise funds and coordinate events for Good Grief's mission. 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 Manager
Email: heather@good-grief.org
Phone: 609.498.6674 x8014

As Family Coordinator for Good Grief in Princeton, Anita is responsible for family orientations, providing ongoing support to families and maintaining a supportive relationship with participants. Anita joined Good Grief in June of 2018 after a long career in working with and for children at Chapin School, HomeFront, and Big Brothers Big Sisters. She considers herself very lucky to be doing work she loves in an organization that she deeply respects, and that has such a big impact on the lives of people in her community.

Anita Hanft
Princeton Family Coordinator
Email: anita@good-grief.org
Phone: 609.498.6674 x8006

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
Morristown Family Coordinator
Email: rachel@good-grief.org
Phone: 908.522.1999 x8012

As Education Coordinator, Steve delivers the Routes to Resilience curriculum throughout schools our the communities. He began volunteering at Good Grief in 2017 and was very happy to join the staff in January 2019! Steve has enjoyed working with young people in various capacities over the years, most recently as an adolescent sexuality educator for 11 years at HiTOPS in Princeton. Through Routes to Resilience, Steve hopes to give students the tools they need to navigate the various challenges and emotions they experience. He is passionate about educating young people with the ability to affect our community’s understanding of topics we seldom discuss like loss, adversity, and resilience.

Steve Pitts
Education Coordinator
Email: steve@good-grief.org
Phone: 609.498.6674 x8017

Patty, a grieving mom herself, helped bring Good Grief to Princeton. For the past 6 years, she has helped Good Grief reach more children in families throughout central New Jersey. Patty is inspired daily by Good Grief's unique mission and dedicated staff and feels privileged to witness the comfort that participant families bring to one another, along with the relationships formed through Good Grief's peer support groups.

Patty Ryan
Princeton Community Ambassador
Email: patty@good-grief.org
Phone: 609.498.6674 x8006

As Program Manager for Good Grief's In Community Program, Taylor is responsible for planning and implementing Nights of Support, and spreading awareness about Good Grief throughout the community. She enjoys developing relationships with families and partners in the cities that Good Grief serves, and is proud to be a part of an organization with such a strong mission. Taylor has a passion for working with diverse populations and providing support for communities in need.

Taylor Simeon
Program Manager
Email: taylor@good-grief.org
Phone: 908.522.1999 ext. 8004

As Good Grief’s Donor Engagement Officer, Pam serves as a cultivator, steward and relationship builder with Good Grief’s donor base and prospective relationships. Pam also pursues the expansion of Good Grief network by attending events within the community including private, corporate, civic and other community functions. Pam feels fortunate to be working with a team of people whose work ethic is as big as their hearts. She is passionate about Good Grief’s mission because she is able to witness first-hand the effects that the program has on its families. Pam was in the first class of facilitators trained in 2007, and has been a loving listener ever since.

Pam Sullivan
Donor Engagement Officer
Email: pam@good-grief.org
Phone: 908.522.1999 x8007


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

Jennifer Leonard – Chair, Senior Vice President, Human Resources at EyePoint Pharmaceuticals

Mark Durham – Vice-Chair, Managing Partner at Strawn Arnold & Associates

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

Ted Grover – Secretary, Owner of ESG, Inc.

Linda Hough – Immediate Past Chair, MBA, CPA

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

Jeanette Falotico, Trinity Consulting, Good Grief Mom

John McDermott, JD, Group Managing Director, Senior Strategic Regulatory Advisor at UBS

Michelle May, CFP, Ameriprise Financial Services

Robert Meirowitz, MD, President of Princeton Gastroenterology Associates

Ryan Pirchio, President, Terabyte Consulting

Leigh Porges,Founder of Onegift, Inc.

Tom Rice, retired executive, Credit Suisse Bank

Patrick Sullivan, Managing Director at Private Advisor Group

Irv Urken, Northwestern Mutual, former Princeton Councilman

Alain Van Loo, Chief Investment Officer, Sharp Financial Group

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