Home for the Holidays

Bonnie Carroll

To Our TAPS Family,

As the holidays approach; we come together as a family to honor our loved ones and find comfort in each other’s care. TAPS is our home for the holidays, our soft landing and safe space, an organization created to help us remember the love, celebrate the life and share the journey together.

Whether this is your first holiday without your loved one, or it has been many years, we remember and honor the precious life lived. We cherish traditions and create new memories of those we love, and we take time to quietly honor the gifts they have given us.

A turning point in my own grief came when a very wise woman asked me if my husband “had enriched my life.” Overwhelmed with thoughts of all the ways Tom had truly touched my life I went on and on about the unconditional love, the laughter, the life lessons, the passion, the patriotism, the purpose… all ways he had “enriched my life.” She began to smile as I leaned forward and shared with increasing enthusiasm. When I finally took a breath, she very wisely asked, “Well, then. What are you going to do now with all those riches?”

This holiday season, reflect on the riches we have been blessed to receive from those we love, and take a moment to think about how you are going to embrace the treasures they have given you.

The lives of those who we love and remember and honor are etched, not just into a granite marker at a gravesite, but carved into our soul, imprinted on our hearts and woven into the fabric of our nation. They enrich our lives, they make us stronger, they inspire us and, in that way, they are eternal.

With love and hope,

Bonnie Carroll
TAPS President and Founder


Holiday Faces of TAPS

Christmas stocking and folded flag

First Christmas

"The first Christmas after my dad's death, my mom put up stockings for only her, my brother, and me..."  - See more on TAPS Facebook

Christmas tree

First Christmas Tree

"I honor all those who are grieving the loss of a loved one and ... the precious memories shared with me by my TAPS family..." - See more on TAPS Facebook

Emmy and her daddy doll

Final Gift

"When the package of presents finally arrived, only one of the gifts inside mattered; the daddy doll..." - See more on TAPS Facebook


Stories of Love

"I don't really have memories of my dad. He died in the war after Christmas when I was a baby..." - See more on TAPS Facebook


Navigating the Holidays


The Year of "Firsts"

TAPS survivors who know first-hand what it’s like share ideas for managing the holidays in the midst of acute grief.


Healing Your Holiday Grief

You can find continued meaning in the holidays and in life. You can continue to live and love fully. You must grieve but you can also celebrate.