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Home of the ORIGINAL Memory Bear & Oprah's Favorite Thing

Good Grief + The Patchwork Bear

Good Grief + The Patchwork Bear

We partnered with Good Grief for "Birds of a Feather" Workshop making memory birds from loved one's clothing. This was our 5th year working with Good Grief and each time is memorable and rewarding.

Good Grief is a local organization that provides support for children who have experienced the loss of an immediate family member. It is a magical place that ensures no child has to grieve alone. 

We spent the afternoon making memory birds out of loved one's clothes, sharing stories, meeting therapy dogs and making arts & crafts. It was a good day.
Have you ever been unsure how to talk to someone who is experiencing the loss of a loved one? Or are you grieving a personal loss? You're not alone. Grief is something we will all experience in our lives. Read below for some grief wisdom from Marion Wells of Good Grief:

Q: Tell us a little about yourself.

I am currently the Family Services Coordinator for Good Grief’s Princeton Center, and a Team Coordinator and Facilitator for our Nights of Support program. A former librarian, I am working on a second career so, in addition to working at Good Grief, which I love, I am also a graduate student in the Clinical and Mental Health Counseling program at Rider University. My hope is to continue working with the bereavement and grief community by providing counseling to all ages.


Q: What advice do you have to support someone grieving? Is it different for children?

My advice is to work through your pain and be patient with the ups and the downs as there is an ebb and flow to the grief process. People may place expectations on you to feel a certain way or to “move on,” but your grief is your journey, so you will grieve in a way that is unique to who you are. Be patient with yourself and be kind to yourself. Reach out for support as social connection can be a powerful connection when you are grieving a loss.

Children grieve differently based on where they are developmentally. Good Grief does a wonderful job of shaping activities around the emotional, behavioral, and cognitive stages of development from early childhood to adulthood, and training our facilitators to understand what is possible for each stage. Here is an excellent resource that Good Grief uses to address the behaviors and needs of bereaved children and teens.


Q: Is there anything you shouldn't say to someone who has lost a loved one?

While people may be well-intentioned, they often say things like, “Your person is in a better place,” or “You need to stop feeling so sad,” or, they say nothing at all and avoid the person who is grieving.


Q: How is something like a memory bear helpful?

One of the powerful surprises of grief is that, ultimately, there is a level of acceptance and an understanding that one can maintain a connection with their person who died. A memory bear is such an excellent representation of how one can have that connection by creating a lovely and sweet keepsake made from their person’s special piece of clothing. It is a tangible object that holds so much meaning and will forever symbolize the bond that one can have with another person.


Q: Is Good Grief nationwide? Do you offer virtual resources?

Good Grief has two family centers: one in Princeton, NJ, and one in Morristown, NJ where we hold mostly in-person Nights of Support. Our online resources are abundant and can be accessed worldwide.
Thank you to Marion and everyone at Good Grief for the invaluable support they provide to our community!
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