NJ Nonprofit Wants to Eliminate Taboos Around Grief

"Sometimes hard things are just hard."

Evelyn Moon, director of education at Good Grief
Evelyn Moon is the director of education at Good Grief. Photo: Courtesy of Good Grief/Lynne DeLade

While grief is often viewed as a taboo subject, a New Jersey nonprofit says grief is good.

Through virtual programs and in its Morristown and Princeton locations, Good Grief creates safe, welcoming spaces for children, spouses and families to process the losses of loved ones. With community, peer support, professional development and educational programming, Good Grief continues to open up more room for grief.

“Not everything needs to have that silver lining put on it,” says Evelynn Moon, director of education at Good Grief. “I think social media in particular makes us think every hard thing needs to be turned into a positive. Sometimes hard things are just hard.”

Good Grief was founded in 2004, when the shadow of 9/11 still weighed heavily on New Jersey. A group of volunteers sought to create consistent grief support for children, spouses, partners and families.

​​“We’re big on hospitality. We want people to be able to relax a little bit here, but also remove that stigma,” Moon says. Good Grief estimates that there are 280,000 grieving children in New Jersey.

“Everyone here has different stories that led up to how they wound up here. But when you’re here, it’s understood. Everyone here has experienced the death of an important person in their life. So that stigma, any of that weirdness, kind of gets set aside,” she says.

For Good Grief, the ultimate goal is to provide people with the long-term knowledge and tools to process grief and care for their mental health.

“There is so much loss in the world; there’s so much grief that you could hold space for,” she says.

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