Letter From TAPS: TAPS Offers Space for Healing

Author: Carla Stumpf Patton

At the beginning steps of our grief, it can feel as if we are lost on a vast landscape with no compass to help us navigate. Then we connect to the TAPS family and find that we are no longer on this journey by ourselves.

Purple Heart on Arlington Headstone

Along the way, our emotions and our needs changeā€¦in and out of the seasons, from hearing that special song, or with the apprehension of how we will make it through significant dates or holidays. 

The TAPS staff, many of whom are fellow survivors, act as light posts as they illuminate the walkway. We walk by your side as a secure place to lean into when you need the support. 

At one of our retreats, TAPS Peer Mentors, along with other surviving family members, will be on the sidelines, offering hopeful encouragement that you can make it, one step at a time. Your TAPS family is living proof you do not have to walk this road alone. 

Along the path, you will find that TAPS holds a unique space for each of us, offering free range and wide open spaces to safely mourn in whatever manner we each need, while finding individual ways that help in our healing. 

Our Survivor Care Team is on the frontline right from the beginning. They offer personal, one-on-one outreach if you need to talk, share or just cry. Our Regional Survivor Seminars and Campouts come to locations near you with opportunities to embrace diverse cultural traditions while grieving, as well as learning about phases of grief and how to tell when you are ready to take the next steps. 

You can also join one our Retreats. They are customized for survivors who are interested in self-reflection and personal growth, and who want to build deeper connections with one another. Before you know it, you may find yourself smiling and laughing beside new friends. 

One of our newest initiatives is the Inner Warrior program for those survivors who feel they are at a place in their journey where they have grown stronger and are ready to push themselves to the next level. By mobilizing their grief in both individual and team efforts they strive to be stronger every day and reclaim the life they desire through mental and physical perseverance. 

TAPS staff and volunteers would like to offer a special thank you to everyone who attended and helped us mark another spectacular year as we held our 22nd National Military Survivor Seminar over Memorial Day weekend in our nation's capital. We are proud to invite survivors of suicide loss to the upcoming September event in St. Pete Beach, Florida, where TAPS will be hosting our Eighth Annual National Military Suicide Survivor Seminar and Good Grief Camp. This event will be offering opportunities for families to connect with one another while they learn more about their grief as a survivor of suicide loss and focus on healing through post-traumatic growth. Event registration is now open. 

You may choose to step into the sunshine and feel the warmth upon your face, or perhaps you would rather reflect in solitude as you relax somewhere under a protective shade. Whatever route you choose to take along your grief journey, TAPS will be there offering you care, support and encouragement every step of the way. As always, we are a place where you can Remember The Love, Celebrate The Life, and Share The Journey 

Wishing you healing and hopeful hearts, 

Carla Stumpf-Patton