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For some of us, happy and merry and joy are the remotest emotions of our heart during the holiday season.
More » When people see it for the first time, the ornaments require the telling of moments in our son’s life..
More » Some days, it feels like a long stretch to be thankful for these seemingly harsh lessons thrown my way in life, but it's a necessary part of healing a..
More » There are people who will step into your life and help you through the turbulence..
More » Trust your grief skills and allow yourself to breathe in the sacred space where we honor those who are gone too soon from our lives but never our hearts.
More » I have been able to face my fears daily. They don’t rule my life.
More » In 1996, the terrorist bombing of Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia took the lives of 19 U.S. Air Force personnel and wounded..
More » I had these false hopes that it was somehow going to heal and I’d be better one day...
More » I spent many years being angry with him, believing he was selfish, only to realize years later that I was the selfish one. I never experienced his pai..
More » This is not the life I envisioned, once upon a time, but it is a life worth living and worth sharing...
More » That is when I found hope — when my flashlight turned on. The most healing aspects of it all have been the countless opportunities I have been given t..
More » With his precious gift left at the bench, I witnessed the kindness still found in this world, and that became my light. I began the hard work of learn..
More » The knock. It changes your life forever. It’s an experience I wish on no one...
More » If tears could build a stairway and memories a lane, I'd walk right up to heaven and bring you home again...
More » After a loss, it takes awhile to understand and maybe not feel guilty to laugh again, to smile, to be happy that you're alive, but as the pain lessens..
More » All the while, we’ve never forgotten the man that will always be in our hearts and in our lives. ..
More » No act shall erase America from her place in this world. That’s the legacy of 9/11. To see the strength that came out of tragedy and remember that on ..
More » As much as I wanted a redo I couldn’t have one, and it is completely up to me on how I react to what happened...
More » Hope is no longer a deal you make with future time. Hope broke that treaty the day he died. Hope is a series of moments — everyday, one minute, one se..
More » My mother died by suicide when I was 19. I knew things were bad, but I never thought it would go that far. I did not understand that she needed far mo..
More » Part IX of a blog series as a TAPS mom uses words to honor her son’s journey to becoming a Marine and her journey toward healing after losing him...
More » Part VIII of a blog series as a TAPS mom uses words to honor her son’s journey to becoming a Marine and her journey toward healing after losing him...
More » Like many of you, I ignored the calls at first. I made sure everyone else in my family was okay..
More » Part VII of a blog series as a TAPS mom uses words to honor her son’s journey to becoming a Marine and her journey toward healing after losing him...
More » Part VI of a blog series as a TAPS mom uses words to honor her son’s journey to becoming a Marine and her journey toward healing after losing him...
More » Part V of a blog series as a TAPS mom uses words to honor her son’s journey to becoming a Marine and her journey toward healing after losing him...
More » Part IV of a blog series as a TAPS mom uses words to honor her son’s journey to becoming a Marine and her journey toward healing after losing him...
More » Part III of a blog series as a TAPS mom uses words to honor her son’s journey to becoming a Marine and her journey toward healing after losing him...
More » A surviving daughter reflects on Father's Day on learning to see in herself the love he had for his family. ..
More » With few memories of her father, one surviving daughter is connecting with the man he was and his lasting impact 25 years later and finding ways to ho..
More » Part II of a blog series as a TAPS mom uses words to honor her son’s journey to becoming a Marine and her journey toward healing after losing him...
More » There wasn't any hope for me. Yet, God, the angels, my sons and prayers from many different people brought me back...
More » I feel that by honoring my child, he will not be forgotten...
More » Cpt. Jason Jones was a fun-loving, compassionate and genuine person. We admire him greatly for his courage, humility and dedication to our country. Ja..
More » Armando Hernandez’s legacy will continue on through the smiles of his three nieces...
More » Rick slipped a house key into Jim’s white-gloved hand, saying, “If you ever want to come home, bro.”..
More » Part I of a blog series as a TAPS mom uses words to honor her son’s journey to becoming a Marine and her journey toward healing after losing him...
More » As soon as I saw Dad’s name on his headstone, the familiar feeling of connection, heartbreak and love flooded over me as it always has there...
More » He wrote home to tell his father the meaning of Memorial Day. Three weeks later, he became the meaning...
More » “I can think of no better way to honor him than to do something he would love to do.”..
More » “This Memorial Day marks a new chapter in my life where I understand the importance of grief, where I’ve allowed myself to really get to know my dad a..
More » He and all of the other’s who have paid the ultimate sacrifice will be honored on this day, and we as a grateful nation will pause to remember...
More » Then I realized he wasn't JUST saying goodbye, he was REALLY saying goodbye--forever!..
More » A surviving spouse has a special secret to share that may have you dreaming and hoping again too. ..
More » Mothers' Day for those who've lost both a child and a mother is a unique experience. ..
More » My dad and I commuted all our lives together and music accompanied us on those travels. Cinco de Mayo marks the day of our last journey, our last pla..
More » Three years ago a terrorist attack ended her Boston Marathon goals. Now she's back to finish the course in honor of her fallen hero. ..
More » At last year’s National Military Suicide Survivor Seminar I looked around at a room filled with people I trust..
More » This year, I’m going to run more. I’m going to be more decisive. I’m going to take more risks..
More » Our TAPS family knows that we travel this road together – through the best times and the worst. As we move toward hope, talking and sharing..
More » In loving memory of a dad I can’t remember on his 40th Angelversary..
More » In a new relationship, a surviving spouse talks about the choice between allowing it to move forward in hope or protecting herself from losing again. ..
More » A surviving mom feels renewed after bonding with other mothers of fallen heroes on a TAPS Retreat...
More » A surviving mom talks about finding friendship and healing among her peers on the TAPS Moms Retreat at IslandWood...
More » The only birthday she ever spent with her dad was the day she was born. A daughter shares the impact of her father's absence in her life. ..
More » She missed her husband's call while he was deployed. Not returning it in time would cause years of guilt, but also an important lesson to always let o..
More » An honest dialogue about opening your heart to a relationship again after the death of spouse...
More » Spotlight on TAPS Peer Mentor, Dana O'Brien, surviving grandfather of CPL Daniel O'Brien..
More » Embracing the moment in your grief journey when the life you never expected to be living calls you to challenges you'd never thought you'd do. ..
More » Have you found joy? It is especially hard as the holiday season approaches..
More » My father died almost 14 years ago of a heart attack while training to deploy. I was just 10 years old. I went through denial, anger and depression. E..
More » We have had quite the journey together, haven't we? Thank you for being there for me in my darkest hours ..
More » What your "Happy Thanksgiving" is may not be someone else's boat of gravy . . . and that's ok. A surviving sister shares how the holiday can churn up..
More » This Thanksgiving week on what would've been her 27th wedding anniversary, a surviving spouse shares 27 memories of joy she shared with her fallen her..
More » The impacts of grief can appear at any time and have no clock. A surviving spouse talks honestly about battling with a sudden onset of anxiety years a..
More » They served together. Now a surviving spouse remembers the pride of sharing that military career path with her fallen hero on Veterans Day. ..
More » On Veterans Day, a veteran and surviving spouse remembers her fallen hero's sacrifice for his adopted country of which he was so proud to be a citizen..
More » A surviving spouse shares the pride of celebrating the Marines with her husband on the USMC birthday. ..
More » Halloween was a day her husband loved and made fun for all; until his death on that holiday in 1994. Read how one surviving spouse learned to re-embra..
More » I like to think of myself as transparent. But there are still a lot of things about me that aren’t transparent. I struggle with letting others see my grief.
More » July 13, 2008 started out like any other Sunday. But a knock at the door changed everything.
More » Cory J. Smith. The man that would unknowingly send me to Alaska to be surrounded by the love and support of others on the grief journey like me.
More » “Pole, Pole.” “Slowly, slowly.” It wasn’t a race to the top of Mt Kilimanjaro, but rather..
More » This Marine Corps Marathon Weekend, surviving sister, Kelly Griffith, runs in honor of her fallen USMC brother who always believed she could achieve a..
More » Surviving spouse, Rachael Hill, shares what it's like to bear the responsibility for traditions, daily rituals, and chores once shared equally with he..
More » The heart of TAPS is survivors helping survivors heal. Read how a surviving mom helps others who share similar loss as a trained TAPS Peer Mentor. ..
More » The 2015 TAPS National Military Suicide Survivor Seminar & Good Grief Camp helped many hearts begin to heal. Surviving spouse, Misty Blum, shares her ..
More » Surviving spouse, Maggie Osborn, shares how she's made every mile count in honor of her husband, Kyle, at major races across the country with Team TAP..
More » Fulfilling shared dreams you and your fallen hero had is a motivating force to moving forward. But when most of those goals are achieved, what else re..
More » A surviving sister journeys with TAPS into the Grand Canyon and returns forever changed with an overwhelming feeling of love and her brother's presenc..
More » Surviving spouse, Leila Murray, shares letter she penned to her husband after his death and encourages other survivors to hold their loved ones' memor..
More » The last Sunday in September is Gold Star Mother's Day. One surviving mom shares a look back at her own journey after losing her Marine son. ..
More » After a traumatic loss, many close themselves off to the world. A surviving mother discusses coming out of her shell after the suicide death of her m..
More » A surviving dad shares his personal experience with the loss of his Coast Guard son and finding hope, help, and healing with his TAPS Family. ..
More » A life on the front lines of terrorism's devastation, has led one veteran and surviving spouse to say terrorists, "will no longer occupy any more of m..
More » No matter how much we prepare ourselves as military families, the dreaded knock on the door always comes unseen. When the tragedy occurs stateside, i..
More » Surviving spouse and mother Amy Dozier shares a list of three tips to help us all get through this special day for dads. Whether
you are a widow with..
More » A wedding is a bittersweet event when the bride and her family are still grieving the loss..
More » When our son died, there were so many details and arrangements vying for attention I couldn’t begin to comprehend..
More » My brother, Army Specialist Christopher Neiberger, was killed in action in Iraq in 2007 at age 22.
More » While cleaning out the top of the closet in the front hall this summer, I saw a box I didn’t recognize way back in the corner..
More » Sitting in the darkened, crowded theater, I realized I had made a mistake. Why hadn’t I picked the cutesy cartoon..
More » The winter holiday season arrives each year just when we may feel like pulling the covers over our heads and ignoring it altogether.
More » Most of us functioned fairly competently in our day-to-day lives, right up until someone we loved stopped living. Instantly we become disorganized, distracted, distraught..
More » When most people hear me say I’m learning to let go, they assume I’m speaking of my late husband, Sergeant Ryan John Baum..
More » I could be setting myself up for failure as most of what has been weighing on my mind is difficult to discuss.
More » When my husband CW2 Miles Henderson was killed in Iraq in November 2006, I felt like I had lost everything. Miles was my best friend..
More » The second anniversary date of my son's death was April 26, 2014. Another Gold Star Mother had told me the second year was worse than the first..
More » During the dark times in our lives our hearts build up walls as a way to protect us from further pain.
More » Grief is both my friend and my enemy. My friend, because it is always with me, ever present. It can also be my enemy because it gives me no warning..
More » Sitting on the plane from Seattle to Anchorage, my heart was a mix of emotions. I was headed for the TAPS siblings retreat in beautiful Alaska in Febr..
More » It is said that one of the tasks of grieving is to relocate the loved one from being a physical presence to that..
More » When someone we love dies, the world as we once knew it no longer exists. We find ourselves on a journey..
More » Today on the TAPS blog, surviving sister Michele Hiester Marcum discusses the significance of memories. She writes, “Memories, whether vintage or new,..
More » Today on the TAPS blog, surviving father Bob Bagosy talks about the waves of grief he is experiencing in his journey. He shares about moments that see..
More » Today on the TAPS blog, surviving spouse Rachael Hill shares about the importance of giving ourselves permission to be happy…to smile and especially t..
More » When I was about three years old, I received a diminutive barrel-back rocker for Christmas from my aunt and uncle. Secured against the bottom runner w..
More » Sometimes people expect us to plaster a smile on our faces and go about the holidays as if nothing were wrong.
More » Today on the TAPS blog, surviving spouse Sarah Greene shares about the first time joy entered her life again. Sarah writes, "I realized that I 'let go..
More » Today on the TAPS blog, surviving father Sandy Elliot, the Chairman of Bereaved Family Support Group (BFSG) for SSAFA in the United Kingdom, shares ab..
More » Today on the TAPS blog, surviving father Bob Bagosy reflects on his experience during the SSAFA/TAPS Gathering in the United Kingdom and shares about ..
More » Today on the TAPS blog, surviving sibling Sherry Viray shares about the importance of remembering and celebrating our loved one's birthday. Sherry wri..
More » October is the month when I married my best friend and soul mate, John Ruocco.
More » I am a man. I am a brother. I am a combat veteran. And I am a sibling survivor. There are few who have survived and lost a family member of the same war...
More » When I first lost Jon, I didn't know how to let anyone help me. I retreated behind an emotional wall..
More » Shanette shares how she approaches the second year after her husband's death, or round 2, as she calls it. She writes, "The first year I allowed mysel..
More » The replies this week constitute the second part of the question about wardrobe changes for survivors...
More » I have always thought of myself as a strong person. In reality my strength had never really been tested until I experienced...
More » By the time I had been kissed by the eighth guy in line in front of me, my face carried the scent of a potpourri of aftershave lotions.
More » My husband once told me that despite the challenges life, law school, and the future might bring, all that mattered at the end of the day...
More » In this week's Saturday Morning Message, survivors share what they do to celebrate their loved one's birthdays. If you want to contribute to the Satu..
More » In today's Saturday morning message, survivors weigh in on how the death of their loved one has changed them, to include the good and the bad discover..
More » Homecoming is usually a time of great celebration, but when your loved one does not make it back, the heartache is intense. Surviving sibling Michele..
More » Dreams can be a powerful and comforting way to stay connected to loved ones. This week, survivors share the stories of their dreams...
More » One of the things I heard early on at TAPS, as well as from my counselor at home, is the importance of self-care.
More » 10:45 p.m. The house is quiet; all are sleeping but me. Austin’s been dead for more than three years now. Some things are better. I’m cooking..
More » As Ryan stood there that night with his arms wrapped around my waist, looking reassuringly into my eyes, he promised..
More » Traveling with kids as a single parent can be a challenge, but surviving spouse Rachael learns that new strengths can be discovered when you put yours..
More » How do people keep the memories and details of their loved ones' lives? Here, survivors share ideas of ways they have taken photos, stories, and meme..
More » Surviving sibling Michele examines the emotions of guilt being comparable to dice in a cup - once shaken and spilled, what shows up?..
More » Sibling survivor Elizabeth discusses her thoughts in growing older than her brother and the grace and mercy she discovers along the way. ..
More » Three days after our son was killed, I walked the beach near our home, not knowing whether I had the physical strength to keep my legs moving...
More » I first met Mike in the winter of 2005-2006. My rules were that I didn’t date Army guys...
More » Answering the question of how we are doing is just plain difficult. There is no right or wrong way to respond, but following are some ideas from TAPS survivors.
More » This will be our eighth Thanksgiving without my brother. I remember when I was counting moments and then mere hours, waiting for the agonizing grief t..
More » Mary-Ann’s question last week about premonitions brought different responses from the survivors who wrote back. Premonitions are something that some p..
More » Widows Rebecca Morrison and Leslie McCaddon are blogging for TIME.com's Battleland blog about their experiences at the TAPS National Military Suicide ..
More » For many of us, sleep patterns are disrupted after the death of a loved one, whether the trouble is lack of sleep or too...
More » I have filled the ocean deep with tears and scaled a rugged mountain of grief, yelling and wrestling with my faith the whole way. With an aching heart and a broken soul...
More » This week's Saturday morning message shares the responses to last week's question - what to say when someone asks how you are feeling. Many survivor..
More » Support. It seems like such a simple word but yet there is so much weight behind it. We all need support, no matter what may be going on in our lives,..
More » Once upon a time, I had all the answers. Or at least, I thought I did. My life was more predictable than not, and with all the wisdom of my youth, I j..
More » On July 28, 2012, it will be two years since I sent my husband to work for the last time. Two years since I last hugged and kissed him good-bye. Two y..
More » When I least expected it, that beastly, nightmarish animal called anger blindsided me. July 4th, the trip to the cemetery wit the requisite flowers ..
More » My husband was more than just SSG Andre Booker, he was Dre, the love of my life. We, like so many others had our ups and our downs, but we made our ma..
More » Happy birthday to you! Happy birthday to you! Happy birthday, dear brother! Happy Bir… Oh wait. Am I supposed to be celebrating your birthday? Do the ..
More » Seven years ago, my life was bursting with the hustle and bustle of raising a young family. With a new baby in the house and a new job, my life was ch..
More » Co-conspirators. Confidants. Comrades. Alternately friend and foe. Two apples from the very same tree. That was us, my brother and me…
More » My grief journey began when my older son Julian was killed in Iraq on May 22, 2007. I knew that I wanted to do something positive in his honor...
More » Birthdays and anniversaries are days that can be both happy and difficult…especially when you have lost someone you love. For my two boys and I, our p..
More » The 16th and 19th of next month will mark the 34th birthday and the 9th anniversary of my brother's death. It's a strange thought that he's now been g..
More » After Carole Hilton’s Navy husband died suddenly, the widowed mother of three had to make a number of financial decisions immediately, while she was p..
More » I truly believe having an amazing support system has helped meet each bout of sadness, and TAPS has offered me comfort in a way that I never thought p..
More » Military widow Shanette Booker talks about how friends and family try to help, but sometimes don't understand how survivors feel about the death of th..
More » Carol Lane's Saturday Morning Message shares the perspective of a surviving parent and others coping with a military loss...
More » I remember many years ago, when that sing-song sentiment ushered in Memorial Day Weekend each year. Ahhh… the start of summer! Late nights splashing ..
More » It is amazing how the meaning of Memorial Day has changed for me through the years. I am somewhat ashamed to admit that before my sons enlisted in the..
More » While our family contracted in size 8 ½ years ago, it continued to grow after that…and growth is a sign of life...
More » On July 14, 1976, I was blessed with my first born, William Austin Daniel. This was the beginning of the purest, most unconditional love I would ever..
More » I am Michele. And I am a survivor. My story mirrors that of every other TAPS survivor. Someone I love died, and I'm writing my way through the grief..
More » On 19 August 2011, I lost the love of my life, my soul mate, best friend,and partner in life via self-inflicted injuries. I do not hold that as the ca..
More » At one point in my life I thought a year was a long time,and in some ways I still agree with that, but at the same time, it often feels like I blink a..
More » The year following my husband’s death was undoubtedly the most difficult year I have ever had to deal with. Never in a million years did I think I wo..
More » Writing has always been my passion. It stirs my emotions and allows me to express myself more adequately than any other way. ..
More » Missing Max: Finding Hope After My Marine Son’s Death - Had I any previous vision of that title...
More » Why is it that human beings, when faced with the unknowable, develop expectations of how it is going to be?
More » It was a cold, dreary, wet November morning in Oregon. I’d just grabbed a pair of wool socks to ward off the cold when I heard the doorbell ring. I fe..
More » It all started years back at a Philadelphia Eagles game. My brother-in-law invited me down to ...
More » One of the things that someone said to me shortly after Matthew died in 2007 was...
More » A picture is worth a thousand words. That’s all I need to say when someone views...
More » The year was 2004. For the first time, TAPS expanded the Run and Remember Team to include our TAPS children running...
More » The story of Klinger is a journey of loss, grief, and hope, which many of us kids can identify with...
More » Gardening can be such a personal journey; it’s not just about planting a seed and ...
More » I was in search of vinegar when it happened. I had just checked on my infant son and was on my way to the cabinet...
More » Grief feels a lot like winter. Winter is cloudy, overcast, and cold. The heavy, gray skies make you want to withdraw.
More » With the coming of the holiday season, do widows and widowers feel more alone? I know I always do. Parties, get-togethers, and holiday celebrations se..
More » Now that I am a year and a half beyond the death of my fiancé, I am able to hold my footing a bit longer these days and look back. I look back at this..
More » I am a 25 year old 7th grade Language Arts teacher and a wife whose husband died by suicide...
More » There is a heart-shaped wooden plaque that hangs on the wall in my kitchen. It says "Home is where our story begins..."
More » In October 1983, Navy Lieutenant John Hudson was packing to return from a deployment...
More » Every day, when I get to work and flip the switch on my computer, I come face to face with the image of Private First Class Cody Grater...
More » Ever since March 11, 2008, I have been teetering on the edge. On that day I received the heartbreaking news...
More » I thought my life was over when my husband, Marine Corp Major John Ruocco took his own life. The thought of going on and raising...
More » I could not comprehend when three Air Force officials knocked on my door to tell me that my husband...
More » It is an odd and frightening sensation to wish you were dead. After my husband died I fervently wished I could die, too
More » Many of us have been faced with multiple shipments of personal effects from various corners of the world. Others of us are denied...
More » Please realize that I love your son…and I know you do as well. There was nothing fair or normal about him...
More » I used to think life was an adventure. I had lived through so much in my few years...
More » My family has always loved Christmas, and it is a wonderful time of year...
More » For many surviving families who have lost a loved one in the military, our interactions with the media are interwoven...
More » At lunch on the first day of the Survivor Weekend in May, I searched the room...
More » Not many people can understand the full impact of opening the front door to find military casualty officers...
More » Almost 2000 service members make the ultimate sacrifice each year. The military survivor must face...
More » |