Letters From TAPS: From Survivor Care Team
Author: Sheri Beck
Dear TAPS Family,
As a child, I loved summer. Summer brought the promise of days spent boating on the Mississippi River and late nights playing softball and riding bikes. I never wanted the summer to end. As I grew older, I began to look forward to the arrival of autumn with all the changes it brought. And now I welcome the season with its crisp days and cold nights, autumn leaves turning beautiful shades of orange, red, and yellow, slowly falling to the ground and gathering at my feet. Even though this means that the warmer days are over and the nights are getting longer, the knowledge that the seasons will always come and go is reassuring.
It is also reassuring to know TAPS will be here regardless of the season. Part of the TAPS mission is to help you through the changing seasons of your grief by making the connections to people and programs that will assist you, both in the immediate aftermath of death and throughout your grief journey.
Regardless of how long it has been since the death of your loved one, if you are in need of extra support or would like to know more about TAPS programs and services, the Survivor Care Team is here for you. We are ready to listen to your challenges, explain the programs that can help meet your needs, and get you connected to others who share your experience.
There are two ways to contact our Survivor Care Team: by telephone or by website. You can call the toll free Help and Information Line at 800-959-TAPS(8277). The help line is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Or you can reach us on the website by completing the Join Our Community Intake form. A Survivor Care Team staff member will call you within 72 hours.
When you receive a call from the Survivor Care Team, we will introduce you to programs and services that are available to TAPS survivors. Then we will connect you to the support you feel will be the most helpful to you. Our programs and services include the Peer Mentor Program, TAPS Casework Assistance, TAPS Online Community, National and Regional Survivor Seminars and Good Grief Camps, TAPS/USO Good Grief Camp-Outs, TAPS Retreats, counseling services, support groups, and other local resources.
Many of our Survivor Care Team members are survivors themselves, so we understand how difficult the grief journey can be. We are here to listen and support you in any way that we can. We want you to know that you are not alone and that TAPS is committed to standing by you.
As the seasons of your grief change, your interests and needs will change as well. The Survivor Care Team will always be available to facilitate your access to new programs and resources, both now and further along on your journey.
As you watch the falling leaves this year, give yourself permission to work through this and every other season of your grief. Realize that although there are very few constants in life, TAPS will continue to be here for you, season after season and year after year.
By Sheri Beck, Survivor Care Team Manager