Seminar Workshops

Friday, May 27: Connection

Newcomer’s Welcome: First time NMSS attendees: Welcome to your first TAPS National Seminar. This can be an overwhelming experience and we want you to know that we understand this and are hoping to help in any way we can. Please come to this short presentation, led by TAPS leadership, to help interpret some of those very real and very common questions about the weekend. Sessions Offered: May 27: 9:00 – 10:00 am

Surviving Suicide Loss Panel (Kim Ruocco, MSW): Suicide loss survivors often experience complex emotions and unique challenges in their grief. This panel session will introduce you the suicide loss survivors on staff here at TAPS, help you meet the other suicide loss survivors also attending this weekend and give you an opportunity to find comfort in the safe presence of trusted peers. Sessions Offered: May 27: 9:00 – 10:00 am

Connection Groups: Meet and connect with others of similar background: Parents, Spouses, Siblings, Friends & Family, Men Only, Adult Children, Grandparents and Significant Others. Sessions Offered: May 27: 9:00 – 10:00 am

1:1 with Dr Blankenship (Charles Blankenship): For those who are ready to ask the tough questions, we will have a medical expert on hand to discuss the physiological aspects of your loved one’s death. Just straight answers in a supportive and loving environment with a one on one half hour session with Dr. Charles Blankenship. If you wish, you can bring along any reports and autopsies for Dr. Blankenship to review and discuss with you. If you would like to connect with Dr. Blankenship prior to the event you can email him directly: charles_blankenship@msn.comSessions Offered: May 27: 1:30 – 4:30 pm, May 28 & 29: 9:00 am – 4:30 pm

Artful Grief/Art Studio: The Artful Grief: Open Art Studio is a safe, sacred and quiet space for participants to create their own artwork in response to their personal journey and experience the transformational process of creativity. The studio will serve as an "art making" sanctuary that meets the ongoing needs of attendees throughout the conference. No talent required, only the willingness to be with what is in your heart, for “a picture is worth a thousand words.” As part of the Artful Grief: Open Art Studio experience, Sharon will share her own journey of healing through the creative process of collage making. A few of the collages she created will be on display as she answers questions about the images that arose from her loss. There will be a designated "TAPS Exhibition Space" where participants may display their artwork. These heartfelt images will serve as markers along the path to healing, will stimulate conversation and make sacred the shared journey. Sessions Offered: May 27: 12:30 - 5:00 pm, May 28: 9:00 am - 5:00 pm, May 29: 9:00 am - 4:00 pm

Artful Engaging: Reverence Flags (Karen Anderson): Flags are an easy way to identify something, whether it be a country, an organization or used as a symbolic gesture. It transcends language, used colors and emblems to identify its meaning. A Reverence Flag is based on the same principle as Tibetan prayer flags. A prayer flag is a rectangular cloth often found strung along mountain ridges and peaks high in the Himalayas to bless the surrounding countryside or for other purposes. These panels are wood-blocked printed with words and images. The cloth pieces can then be hung in a covered outdoor place or inside. Tibetans believe the prayers of these flags become a permanent part of the universe as the images fade from exposure to the elements and the wind blows through them. Just as life moves on and is replaced by new life, our own healing can begin, our hearts can mend and find room to love again.?When we send our feelings on the wind we trust nature to turn our memories from sadness to gratitude for having loved and been loved so unconditionally. It is a beautiful way to send a prayer out into the universe. In this workshop, participants can create his or her own prayer flag using different materials to show honor and reverence for their loved one. Afterward, everyone is invited to hang his or her flag together outside the Artful Grief studio. Sessions Offered: May 27: 1:30 - 3:00 pm

Finding Our Way Back to Joy through the Five Honorings (Ken Druck)The First Honoring is Our Own Survival: We will learn what it really means to survive, practice self-care/compassion as we navigate the inevitable ups and downs of the first several years of traumatic loss. We will also explore strategies for meeting the challenges, facing the fears and harvesting the opportunities of coming out of "Shock and Survival Mode" -- and adjusting to a completely "new normal." This includes overcoming the hidden guilt and shame that too often blocks our path to joy, teaching those closest to us the "Do's and Don'ts of Support," giving ourselves permission to grieve and get the help we need -- and gaining the freedom we gain from seeing things from a both/and (paradoxical) rather than either/or perspective. The Second Honoring is to Begin Writing New Chapters In Our Lives: We will explore how to summon the courage, strength, resilience and faith to go on after the death of a loved one, how to be emotionally honest with ourselves/others and how to summon the psychological strength, bravery, hope, faith, understanding and (sustainable, resilient) energy when we’re still feeling broken, empty, angry, lost, despairing, emotionally drained and exhausted? We will learn to STOP ourselves from entering the "Torture Chamber" of guilt and shame and other pitfalls of traumatic loss that stand in the way of healing, renewal and fighting our way back into life? The Third Honoring is to Embody Their Essence in the Way We Live On: In this section, we will share strategies for how to cultivate, nurture, choose and internalize the essential qualities our loved ones possessed and, in so doing, embody their spirit. How can we make their loving-kindness, innocence, sense of humor, affection, irreverence, fairness, peace, joy, playfulness and deep wisdom a part of us and become the better, smarter, stronger version of ourselves? The Fourth Honoring is to Do Something Good in Their Name: Each of us has the power to use whatever time, energy, talents, passions and resources we have to do something good in their name. This can be as simple as lighting a candle every year or complicated as starting a not-for-profit foundation. This is the way we make our lives an expression of love -- as opposed to our despair and trauma over how they died. The Fifth Honoring is to Develop a Spiritual Relationship with Them: We will learn how to deepen our spiritual connection with our loved one, keep them alive in our hearts, imagination, signs and memories and allow communication on a spiritual level (even at the objections of the Thought Police). Sessions Offered: May 27: 1:30 - 3:00 pm

The 20 Faces of Grief: Weighing In Emotionally (Mitch Carmody): This is an Interactive group exercise to open up paths of communications, assessing grievers where they are at on their grief journey, sharing the story of their personal loss and challenges and sharing emotions they may have been experiencing. Sessions Offered: May 27: 1:30 - 3:00 pm

Relaxation & Compassion: Meditation for Grief (Heather Stang): Grief impacts your physical, mental, and emotional body. The Relaxation Response Meditation, developed at Harvard in the late 1960s by cardiologist Dr. Herbert Benson, is proven to temper anxiety, mild to moderate depression, insomnia, nausea, headaches, and many other stress-related complaints associated with grief. During the first half of this 90-minute workshop, you will learn this simple yet powerful practice, which includes relaxing breath-work and crafting your personal mantra. Next, you will learn Metta Meditation, also known as the Prayer of Lovingkindness and Compassion. This ancient technique is the systematic practice of sending “well wishes” to 6 types of people, including yourself, a beloved teacher or spiritual icon, a friend or family member, a neutral person, a difficult person, and finally, all sentient beings. This technique highlights the fact that we all share a desire to be happy, safe and free from suffering, which creates the potential to heal difficult relationships and cultivate gratitude for supportive relationships. Participants will be provided handouts with detailed instructions and links to free guided meditations for home practice. Sessions Offered: May 27: 1:30 - 3:00 pm

Siblings Grieve, Too (Dr. Heidi Horsley): Losing a sibling is one of the worst things that can ever happen; it turns your world upside down. Your sibling is part of your past, and you expect this relationship to continue throughout your lifetime. In this interactive workshop, Heidi will discuss what helped her, after the death of her 17 yr. old brother, and what has helped the thousands of bereaved siblings she has worked with. She will also address the unique aspects and challenges of sibling death, and get feedback from participants about issues they are struggling with, and how they have found hope without their brother or sister. Sessions Offered: May 27: 1:30 - 3:00 pm

Discover TAPS Outdoor Programs - Retreats, Expeditions, TeamTAPS and Inner Warrior (Craig Wilhelm, Emily Munoz, Erin Jacobson and Gabriel Rao)TAPS Retreats are designed to create a strong sense of community and peer support among survivors by providing challenging group activities as well as multiple opportunities for conversation. TAPS Expeditions challenge you to get out of your comfort zone and share a truly fearless journey with TAPS survivors by joining them in the wilderness. After the death of a loved one, the entire landscape of life changes - routine becomes rigorous, familiar becomes foreign. This, after all, was not the plan. This was not on your map. But maybe, in those dark moments where you've felt small and powerless, you've also sensed that you are meant to do something big. Team TAPS supports TAPS programs and services through Challenge, Compassion, and Commitment. Team TAPS participates in endurance events from Alaska to Florida, from Germany to Afghanistan; providing opportunities for survivors and athletes of all experience levels to support TAPS. Participating in Sport and Endurance activities releases the grip of grief and provides a way to honor your loved ones through exercise and action. Now, a network of tens of thousands participate in TeamTAPS endurance challenges annually – from running to biking, hiking and swimming, to cycling and ruck-marching – all to support TAPS programs and services. Inner Warrior: Fighting for the lives they wanted us to have. The Inner Warrior program asks you to find and connect with the part of you that’s committed not just to surviving, but to thriving. We’ll build strength, resolve and courage for daily life and exceptional adventures. We’ll reclaim the parts of ourselves that know we make our loved ones proud. Wherever you are in your grief journey, Inner Warrior is about strengthening your own resolve and building your own capacity. When you’re ready to prioritize training, preparation, whole-body wellness, and accountability, join a team of like-minded survivors ready to find what’s waiting when we accept the challenge not just to endure, but to believe. Sessions Offered: May 27: 1:30 - 3:00 pm

Suicide Loss Sharing Group for ParentsSessions Offered: May 27: 1:30 - 3:00 pm

Mindful Meditation Walk (Erin Jacobson): In grief it is easy to become overwhelmed by the challenge of concentration and being present in the moment. During this session you are invited to learn simple techniques to use your senses, nature and your breath to bring calmness and awareness in your day-to-day life. These tools can help to bring grounding in moments that we feel overcome by the burden of emotion. Although this session will not contain strenuous activity, we will be venturing outside so please bring comfortable shoes and clothing appropriate for the outdoors. Sessions Offered: May 27: 1:30 - 3:00 pm

National Seminar 101: So much to do, so little time … where do I start? (Kim Burditt & Jenn McCollum-Allen: There is so much offered here at the TAPS National Military Survivor Seminar. How do you choose what to attend? Come learn more about the schedule and the weekend’s offerings … we’ll help you create a plan for each day so you can get the most out of your weekend here with your TAPS family! Sessions Offered: May 27: 3:30 - 4:30 pm

Reception & Reunion: Our Friday Night Reception and Reunion will offer attendees the time to connect with each other, whether it is for the first time or reuniting with friends from past TAPS events or communities. Light snacks will be provided and many of the weekend’s presenters will be present to get to know you better. Sessions Offered: May 27: 3:00 pm

Making Connections with Granny Squares (Claire Wudowsky): This workshop will help you learn to make one-color granny squares and connect them into a blanket that will be donated to TAPS to benefit someone who needs our support. Information will be provided to help you continue your therapeutic knitting journey after your return home. All the tools and supplies you need will be provided. If you already know how to knit or crochet and want to contribute to this blanket, please drop off 7" x 7" squares of any kind to the Knitters and Crocheters Care area. When you drop off your squares, you can learn how to connect them to help complete this special TAPS blanket. If you simply need more instruction, practice or want to hang out, stop by the knitters and crocheters care area Friday to Monday. Sessions Offered: May 27: 5:00 pm until done

Combined 12 Step Group Meeting: Open to members of any 12-Step Fellowship. The meetings will be conducted based on the 12-Step model first developed by Alcoholics Anonymous and will be chaired by Franklin C., a longtime member of several 12-Step Fellowships. TAPS welcomes anyone attending this weekend's survivor seminar who is a member of a 12-Step Fellowship to attend the meetings, but the meetings are not affiliated with TAPS. Sessions Offered: May 27, 28 & 29: 9:00 pm

Saturday, May 28: Reflect

Sun Salutations Yoga (Lalaine Estella): Get ready to face your day with a gentle yoga practice that will awaken your mind, open your heart and get your body moving. We will use our breath to ease into simple stretches and poses. No yoga experience required. You don't even have to be fully awake to participate! Come join and breathe with us, and together we will rise and shine. Mats provided. Sessions Offered: May 28, 29 & 30: 7:00 – 8:00 am

Get outdoors with the TAPS Inner Warrior Program (Emily Muñoz) Get a jumpstart on your personal health and wellness. Join your fellow Inner Warriors and get outdoors for a morning meet-up as we go along the Mount Vernon trail for 30 minutes of running or walking. Not only will you have the opportunity to work in a morning wellness activity, but we will share stories with other survivors as we strive to be stronger each day. We encourage everyone of all fitness levels to participate. Sessions Offered: May 28 & 29: 7:00 - 8:00 am

1:1 with Dr Blankenship (Charles Blankenship): For those who are ready to ask the tough questions, we will have a medical expert on hand to discuss the physiological aspects of your loved one’s death. Just straight answers in a supportive and loving environment with a one on one half hour session with Dr. Charles Blankenship. If you wish, you can bring along any reports and autopsies for Dr. Blankenship to review and discuss with you. If you would like to connect with Dr. Blankenship prior to the event you can email him directly: charles_blankenship@msn.comSessions Offered: May 27: 1:30 – 4:30 pm, May 28 & 29: 9:00 am – 4:30 pm

Artful Grief/Art Studio: The Artful Grief: Open Art Studio is a safe, sacred and quiet space for participants to create their own artwork in response to their personal journey and experience the transformational process of creativity. The studio will serve as an "art making" sanctuary that meets the ongoing needs of attendees throughout the conference. No talent required, only the willingness to be with what is in your heart, for “a picture is worth a thousand words.” As part of the Artful Grief: Open Art Studio experience, Sharon will share her own journey of healing through the creative process of collage making. A few of the collages she created will be on display as she answers questions about the images that arose from her loss. There will be a designated "TAPS Exhibition Space" where participants may display their artwork. These heartfelt images will serve as markers along the path to healing, will stimulate conversation and make sacred the shared journey. Sessions Offered: May 27: 12:30 - 5:00 pm, May 28: 9:00 am - 5:00 pm, May 29: 9:00 am - 4:00 pm

The Glass House of Grief: Dealing with the Judgment that Comes with Loss (Michelle Steinke Baumgard): Michelle will talk about the inevitable judgment that seems to come with the loss journey and give practical tools to help the survivor move beyond the glass house they now reside in. Sessions Offered: May 28: 9:00 – 10:30 am

Processing Our Grief: Transforming Sorrow, Outrage, Anger & Fear Back Into Love (Ken Druck): In this interactive program, participants will have the opportunity to take personal inventory, map out where they are on their grief journey, identify the key elements on their path to healing, identify “roadblocks” to healing and work on upgrading their self-compassion by summoning a deep sense of gratitude, kindness, patience, encouragement, acceptance and understanding. We will learn about things like “Living Losses” and the “paradoxes of loss” including “Broken and Whole,” “Here and Gone” and “Empty and Full.” Facing into our losses together, we become the better version of ourselves. Sessions Offered: May 28: 9:00 – 10:30 am; 1:30 - 3 pm

Finding New Meaning and Purpose in Your Life after Loss (Kim Ruocco): The death of a loved one turns our world upside down. It can make us question what is important and who we are. This session is designed for survivors who are further out in their grief journey. Together we will explore the various ways that loss changes the way we view the world and how we can use it to live a purposeful life. Sessions Offered: May 28: 9:00 – 10:30 am

Who Am I Without My Sibling (Dr. Heidi Horsley): The sibling bond is an intense, unique relationship – it sustains distance, conflict, and family dynamics. Bereaved siblings experience profound loss, even though the loss is often unrecognized by society. While exploring questions of identity, this workshop will honor your grief, your loss, and your relationship with your sibling. Sessions Offered: May 28: 9:00 – 10:30 am

Sharing Groups: Spouses with Children, Loss of Only Child, Friends/Battle Buddies, My Loved One Died in Combat, Suicide Loss Sharing Group for Spouses. Sessions Offered: May 28: 9:00 – 10:30 am

What Are Your Healing Superpowers? (Paula Stephens): In this session participants will be guided through a ‘work in action’ worksheet that will encourage them to identify the strengths, skills, behaviors and activities that have helped them up to this point. These reflections will be used show how each person has healed in a different way. By recognizing and being aware of these behaviors we can maximize them and learn to integrate them into our lives as our healing evolves and our needs change. Participants are encouraged to share, brain storm and adopt ideas from one another in the workshop. This encourages the concept of asking for support and being open to exploring new ideas. The message is shared that, just like a super hero has specific powers, he/she may also need to enlist other ‘heroes’ to support them. This format also creates an inclusive feel for those who are both newly bereaved and further down the path. Participants will leave feeling empowered by having identified their own healing ‘super-powers’, knowing where they need support, and knowing how to use these to honor their loved ones by how they continue to live. Sessions Offered: May 28: 11:00 am – 12:30 pm, 3:30 - 5:00 pm

Drawing Your Grief-Scape (Heather Stang): This workshop invites participants to use crayons and paper to reflect on the metaphor of “grief as a landscape” in order to gain insight and a new perspective on the experience of grief. Drawing your “landscape of grief” will help you explore the of grief in a new way, which will offer up new perspectives and insights while fostering meaning making and narrative reconstruction. In many cases, this exercise will help you take one step forward on your grief journey. After a brief meditation and mindful movement exercise, you will imagine what grief would look like if it were a physical place. Open-ended questions will allow you to meditate on and tour your “grief-scape” as if it were the first time you visited–reflecting on attributes such as the season, the climate, the time of day, and more. A period of silence will be allowed for you to create the drawing itself. We will be using crayons—one of the least intimidating art mediums, as this exercise is not about creating a work of art, but rather exploring your relationship with your life after loss. There will be ample time allotted for you to share your drawing and reflect on its symbolism with the group. Sessions Offered: May 28: 11:00 am – 12:30 pm, 3:30 - 5:00 pm

A Frank Conversation: Is My Loss Traumatic? (Frank Campbell): Traumatic grief has characteristics different from the more traditional grief associated with death. Dr. Frank Campbell will describe elements that stand out when experiencing traumatic grief that compromise the activities of daily living and impact sleep, physical health and overall well-being. When assumed to be characteristics of "normal" grief many find processing their loss overwhelming resulting in a more difficult grief journey. Participants attending are encouraged to ask questions or share personal experiences they are coping with to gain insights and practical solutions that have helped others cope more effectively. Sessions Offered: May 28: 11:00 am – 12:30 pm, 3:30 - 5:00 pm

Grieving Like A Man (Franklin Cook): This session is for men only. It begins with a brief presentation about men and grief, which will be followed by a facilitated discussion. Participants will be invited to comment on their own experiences as men coping with grief and loss. Sessions Offered: May 28: 11:00 am – 12:30 pm

Sharing Groups: Widows: Dating Again?, Spouses without Children, Siblings, Step Parents, Attending the Seminar Alone, Suicide Loss Sharing Group for Siblings Sessions Offered: May 28: 11:00 am – 12:30 pm

Exercise for Grief, Anxiety and Mood (Michelle Steinke Baumgard & Keith Baumgard): Exercise is one of the most powerful and underutilized antidepressants, and it’s free. In this session, Michelle will discuss the science behind the power of endorphins and help you start your journey to fitness. Sessions Offered: May 28: 1:30 - 3:00 pm

Who Am I as a Griever? The Power of Vulnerability (Mitch Carmody ): This is a workshop that explores who we are as a griever, our strengths and our weaknesses. Grievers will be introduced to the 5 basic personality archetypes as see through the characters of Milne’s classic Winnie the Pooh. Every person, every journey so unique but yet we can draw to our strong suit, when we know what it is. Other facets of the loss and circumstances around the death than can complicate, delay and that can acerbate the journey will be discussed. We can use the power of vulnerability (open to taking emotional risks) to help heal our broken heart. Sessions Offered: May 28: 1:30 - 3:00 pm

Finding Words for Grief (Diane Ebenal & Carol Sweaney): This workshop is structured around poet-therapist Georgia Roberson’s belief that “people need to find the words for the loss, say the words out loud, and have someone hear them.” Participants need no creative or writing skill - just an open mind and sense that there is something they need to say. Sessions Offered: May 28: 1:30 - 3:00 pm

Peer Mentor and Care Group Facilitator Workshop (Zaneta Gileno & Don Lipstein): All trained Peer Mentors and TAPS Care Group Facilitators are invited to participate in this workshop. We will discuss best practices and provide ongoing training to support you in your valuable roles. Sessions Offered: May 28: 1:30 - 3:00 pm

Stress Management, and Grief Relief through Somatic Integration (Mitch Carmody): The somatic (physical) component of grief will be discussed as it relates to the four pillars of strength of a human being: body, mind, spirit and soul. The synergistic integration of these strengths is crucial to surviving traumatic loss. We will be identifying common stressors experienced in grief and discuss ways to neutralize its toxic effect on our body. A brief guided imagery to introduce the relaxation response will be conducted. Sessions Offered: May 28: 3:00 - 5:00 pm

Sharing Groups: Meet and connect with others of similar background: Significant Others, Multiple Deaths, Grandparents, Accidental Death, Suicide Loss Sharing Group for VILO’s (Very Important Loved Ones) Sessions Offered: May 28: 1:30 - 3:00 pm

Sharing Groups: Meet and connect with others of similar background: Parents, Loss by Friendly Fire, Missing/Unknown, Homicide Loss Sharing Group, Custodial Grandparents, Suicide LossSessions Offered: May 28: 3:30 - 5:00 pm

Combined 12 Step Group Meeting: Open to members of any 12-Step Fellowship. The meetings will be conducted based on the 12-Step model first developed by Alcoholics Anonymous and will be chaired by Franklin C., a longtime member of several 12-Step Fellowships. TAPS welcomes anyone attending this weekend's survivor seminar who is a member of a 12-Step Fellowship to attend the meetings, but the meetings are not affiliated with TAPS. Sessions Offered: May 27, 28 & 29: 9:00 pm

Sunday, May 29: Inspire

Sun Salutations Yoga (Lalaine Estella): Get ready to face your day with a gentle yoga practice that will awaken your mind, open your heart and get your body moving. We will use our breath to ease into simple stretches and poses. No yoga experience required. You don't even have to be fully awake to participate! Come join and breathe with us, and together we will rise and shine. Mats provided. Sessions Offered: May 28, 29 & 30: 7:00 – 8:00 am

Get outdoors with the TAPS Inner Warrior Program (Emily Muñoz) Get a jumpstart on your personal health and wellness. Join your fellow Inner Warriors and get outdoors for a morning meet-up as we go along the Mount Vernon trail for 30 minutes of running or walking. Not only will you have the opportunity to work in a morning wellness activity, but we will share stories with other survivors as we strive to be stronger each day. We encourage everyone of all fitness levels to participate. Sessions Offered: May 28 & 29: 7:00 - 8:00 am

1:1 with Dr Blankenship (Charles Blankenship): For those who are ready to ask the tough questions, we will have a medical expert on hand to discuss the physiological aspects of your loved one’s death. Just straight answers in a supportive and loving environment with a one on one half hour session with Dr. Charles Blankenship. If you wish, you can bring along any reports and autopsies for Dr. Blankenship to review and discuss with you. If you would like to connect with Dr. Blankenship prior to the event you can email him directly: charles_blankenship@msn.comSessions Offered: May 27: 1:30 – 4:30 pm, May 28 & 29: 9:00 am – 4:30 pm

Artful Grief/Art Studio: The Artful Grief: Open Art Studio is a safe, sacred and quiet space for participants to create their own artwork in response to their personal journey and experience the transformational process of creativity. The studio will serve as an "art making" sanctuary that meets the ongoing needs of attendees throughout the conference. No talent required, only the willingness to be with what is in your heart, for “a picture is worth a thousand words.” As part of the Artful Grief: Open Art Studio experience, Sharon will share her own journey of healing through the creative process of collage making. A few of the collages she created will be on display as she answers questions about the images that arose from her loss. There will be a designated "TAPS Exhibition Space" where participants may display their artwork. These heartfelt images will serve as markers along the path to healing, will stimulate conversation and make sacred the shared journey. Sessions Offered: May 27: 12:30 - 5:00 pm, May 28: 9:00 am - 5:00 pm, May 29: 9:00 am - 4:00 pm

Live on Purpose (Michelle Steinke Baumgard): An inspirational pep talk from Michelle on living your life with great purpose. In this session, Michelle will give actionable tips on finding a new direction and living each step of the way. Expect to be inspired, motivated and renewed for the road ahead. Sessions Offered: May 29: 8:30 - 10:00 am

A Quiet Time for Reflection and Response:Join fellow survivors in a quiet time of reflection and response where you can quietly meditate on your favorite biblical verse, poem and/or sacred writings of your faith that provide you with hope and encouragement to move forward. A Protestant devotional message will be offered at the close of this session for those who wish to stay and fellowship. Prayer will be available upon request. This session will be led by Chaplain Doug Windley, N.C. Army National Guard. Sessions Offered: May 29: 8:30 - 10:00 am

Yoga for Grief (Rayanne Hunter): Trauma and long term stress and anxiety activate the stress response causing chaos in your body. In using yoga you can increase the relaxation response by encouraging a calm breath, reducing muscle tension, creating body awareness, and promoting sound sleep. Allowing you to discover and reverse long term consequences of stress, anxiety, and trauma. Yoga and mindfulness practices can help you to better understand, make peace with, manage, and release emotional triggers and feelings. Teaching you to stay present with intention, which can relieve you from worrying about the future or the past. All of this transfers off the mat, bringing fresh awareness into your everyday experience. Sessions Offered: May 29: 8:30 - 10:00 am, 3:00pm - 4:00pm

Signs, Dreams and Synchronicities…those Continuing Connections (Mitch Carmody): No matter how, when or where our loved one died, there is compelling evidence to support the belief that we can still feel their presence. In this inspirational session we will explore this phenomenon in detail and provide a slide show of extraordinary anecdotal evidence from all over the world that validates the experience for the griever and that you are not crazy. It provides hope for the newly bereaved and a gift of comfort for all bereaved that our loved ones may have survived physical death on some level. Sessions Offered: May 29: 8:30 - 10:00 am

Finding Hope After Loss (Dr. Heidi Horsley): Are you ready to find hope again? This interactive workshop is for those who are ready to transform their losses and find hope, healing and joy again. In this workshop you will learn tips and tools on how to shift your energy and actually feel better during difficult times. Heidi will discuss steps you can take and share research on finding hope after loss that will leave you feeling more energized and more hopeful about your future. Sessions Offered: May 29: 8:30 - 10:00 am

Our Blueprints for Healing Into the Future (Ken Druck): In this program, participants will have the opportunity to map out their own custom version of a positive future and solidify the blueprints for getting there. Each participant will be invited to write a deeply inspirational letter to themselves outlining their plan which they will open in 6 months. Sessions Offered: May 29: 10:30 am - 12:00 pm

God Winks (Bonnie Carroll): Some people call them “God Winks,” some call them signs, messages or after death communication. No matter what we call them, signs from our loved ones can be very present in our lives. Stories and experiences of the presence of our loved ones will be discussed in this open-minded and intimate sharing session. Sessions Offered: May 29: 10:30 am - 12:00 pm

Metaphors for Healing (Frank Campbell): This workshop will focus on the benefits of developing accurate metaphors to describe your feelings of loss. This approach to communication when grieving has proven helpful for getting support that is helpful from those who want to be able to provide support and have not had a loss comparable to your loss. This approach allows a different response to "how are you?" than the assumed a "I am fine" phrase many see as an expectation by society. Sessions Offered: May 29: 10:30 am - 12:00 pm

Companioning A Griever’s Heart (Zaneta Gileno): Are you ready to help others? Have you wondered how you can give back to the community? In this workshop, we will explore our own caregiving styles and motivations for helping others. We will also discuss different ways to best support the grieving. We'll even look at compassion fatigue and ways to ensure we are in the best position to serve. Join us to explore ways to Companion a Grieving Heart. Sessions Offered: May 29: 10:30 am - 12:00 pm

Art and Grief: How Art Communicates the Unspeakable (with Erin Jacobson and Shalan Webb): In grief we often struggle to find the words to express what we feel. The visual arts can communicate the deepest parts of us that when we don’t know how to communicate them. After the death of their fiancé and husband respectively in 2007, survivors Erin Jacobson and Shalan Webb both studied art as part of their healing process. In this session they will give a brief introduction on how to look at art and use it as a tool to heal as well as share specific pieces that that resonated in their grief process. Sessions Offered: May 29: 10:30 am - 12:00 pm

Sharing Groups: Meet and connect with others of similar background: Fathers, Parents, LGBTQ Sharing Group, Young Adults (18 - 23), Suicide Loss Sharing Group for Spouses with Children Sessions Offered: May 29: 10:30 am - 12:00 pm

Grief Didn’t Come with a Training Plan, Here’s Yours! (Paula Stephens): The focus of this session is to teach the importance of self-care and health in the healing process. After attending this workshop participants will know what action to take that will help them effectively manage the day-to-day stresses of living with loss. The message will include the physical differences in early loss vs more integrated loss. Participants will be able to apply simple self-care strategies they can do starting that day that will increase their energy, decrease stress and improve mood. Participants will learn both the physiological and emotional benefits of integrating health and wellness into their lives, including avoiding secondary losses to quality of life after the loss of a loved one. Sessions Offered: May 29: 1:00 - 2:30 pm

Healthy Parenting After Loss (Kim Ruocco & Carla Stumpf-Patton): This session will help parents and caregivers build a foundation of trust, love and honesty after loss. The session will include specific information about the impact of sudden loss on children, including suicide. It will also offer information and insight gained from the TAPS "Good Grief Camps". Sessions Offered: May 29: 1:00 - 2:30 pm

Role Modeling Self Care for the Next Generation (Frank Campbell): The most challenging concept for many who are struggling to cope with daily demands is self-care. The concept is intended to be a life jacket on a rough sea and yet most assume this is selfish behavior and not worthy of consideration. Once this concept is clearly understood it can be the life saving approach to grief it is intended to be. Participants are encouraged to share what they are struggling with on a daily basis in an effort to normalize some of the common issues surrounding loss while looking for new ways to cope through self-care. Sessions Offered: May 29: 1:00 - 2:30 pm

Who Am I Now? Meditation & Journaling for Post Traumatic Growth (Heather Stang): This workshop will guide participants through an integration meditation and journaling experience designed to help them reflect on their grief experience, acknowledge their personal strengths, and choose how to engage with their life after loss. When a loved one dies, our self-narrative gets thrown off track, our assumptive world get shattered, and we are left asking “Who Am I Now?” An important task on the healing journey is to reconstruct our story and continue to live our life after loss. In time, many bereaved people experience posttraumatic growth, which can be cultivated through self-reflection and story-telling. This workshop begins with a guided meditation exercise that includes breath work and a mindfulness-based body scan designed to help you transition from “thinking mind” into “creative mind.” You will learn the guidelines for stream of consciousness journaling, and be offered writing prompts based on the Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy Integration meditation process. This process will allow you to explore the bridge between your grief experience up until this point and your life moving forward. You will be inspired to create a personal affirmation that is a symbol of your inner strength, and commit to a small, doable and time-bound action that will help you move forward in your own personal narrative. Time will be available at the end of the workshop for those who wish to share their affirmation and action step with the group. Sessions Offered: May 29: 1:00 - 2:30 pm

Making It Clear: Answers to your questions about DoD and VA Benefits, Education Benefits and How Casework and Advocacy Can Work For You (Ashlynne Haycock, Brittany Bonin-Bruder, Kathy Moakler): Have questions about your DoD and VA benefits? Are you or your child headed to college soon and looking for financial aid? Want to learn how you can help make survivor benefits better by working with your member of Congress? In this 90 minute session you will: learn about the TAPS education portal and how to make it work for you and your family, find out more about the TAPS Casework department and how they help you when problems arise and you can’t go it alone, and hear about legislation that has been introduced in Congress this year and how it affects survivor benefits. Be sure to bring your questions and your ideas. Sessions Offered: May 29: 1:00 - 2:30 pm

Sharing Groups: Meet and connect with others of similar background: Mothers, Adult Children, Spanish Speaking, “I Love and Care for a Survivor” Sharing Group (Keith Baumgard), Suicide Loss Sharing Group for Spouses without Children Sessions Offered: May 29: 1:00 - 2:30 pm

Getting Started on your Fitness and Nutrition Journey (Michelle Steinke Baumgard & Keith Baumgard) :In this session, Coach Michelle and Keith will talk about the importance of smart fitness and how getting started is not nearly as complicated as we make it. Practical tips will be given to get the survivor up and moving towards a healthy life. Sessions Offered: May 29: 3:00 - 4:00 pm

Updates on the National Military Family Bereavement Study (Dr.Stephen Cozza) :This presentation will provide information about the National Military Family Bereavement Study (NMFBS), discuss current study progress, preliminary findings and future directions. The NMFBS is the first large scientific study of the impact of a U.S. service member death on surviving family members. The research is being conducted by Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USUHS) Center for the Study of Traumatic Stress (CSTS) in Bethesda, Maryland. Since its inception in 2011, the NMFBS has collected information from over 2250 adult and child family members of military service members who have died serving on active status in any branch of the military since September 11, 2001. The study has collected baseline self-report surveys, focus group information and saliva samples (for genetic testing) from participants (including parents, spouses/partners, siblings and children). In addition, nearly 1000 adults and children are participating in three yearly interviews to provide information about changes in bereavement outcomes over time. Data analyses will continue during the next several years and official reports will be published in the scientific literature. Preliminary findings identify continued needs in this population of bereaved military family members. These findings and the future direction of the project will be discussed. Sessions Offered: May 29: 3:00 - 4:00 pm

Turning Loss To Legacy, Proactive Grieving (Mitch Carmody) :This workshop looks at “now what?” where do I go from here? This session is designed to help you pack your toolbox for the future. Empowering oneself to become an intentional survivor, to not only find ways to seek and bring joy back into our lives, but keep our loved one present in the world by doing so. To proactively create a legacy for our loved one who died; finding ways to re-purpose our broken heart in a positive manner that not only honors their life, invigorates ours but makes a difference in the world in their name. Our loved one dies a second time when no one speaks their name, so we create a legacy, saying their name loud and proud. They served; they died, but will never be forgotten. Sessions Offered: May 29: 3:00 - 4:00 pm

Becoming a Contributing Writer for TAPS (Bevin Landrum & Carol Lane): Designed for survivors who use writing as a way to express their feelings and experiences after loss, this workshop will focus on writers two or more years after loss who wish to refine their writing skills and learn more about the writing opportunities TAPS offers. We will focus on writing, peer review, TAPS editing and style guidelines, and how to develop content for assigned topics. This is an excellent way to honor your loved one and share lessons learned in broad ways that apply to your TAPS family. Sessions Offered: May 29: 3:00 - 4:00 pm

Sharing Groups: Meet and connect with others of similar background: Spiritual Questions After Loss, Very Important Loved Ones, Loss to Illness, Our Child was born after My Loved One Died, Suicide Loss Sharing Group for Siblings Sessions Offered: May 29: 2:30 - 4:00 pm

Lessons in Life & Purposeful  Movement from a Navy SEAL(William Wagasy): Explore the link between physical challenges and emotional obstacles with one of our nation’s most skilled special operators. Appropriate for all physical fitness levels, this workshop will ask participants to believe that it matters to try - that understanding our own strengths and weaknesses informs not only our own grief journeys, but helps us learn how to support others along the way. Sessions Offered: May 29: 10:30 - 1:00 pm

Combined 12 Step Group Meeting: Open to members of any 12-Step Fellowship. The meetings will be conducted based on the 12-Step model first developed by Alcoholics Anonymous and will be chaired by Franklin C., a longtime member of several 12-Step Fellowships. TAPS welcomes anyone attending this weekend's survivor seminar who is a member of a 12-Step Fellowship to attend the meetings, but the meetings are not affiliated with TAPS. Sessions Offered: May 27, 28 & 29: 9:00 pm

Monday, May 30: Inspire

Sun Salutations Yoga (Lalaine Estella): Get ready to face your day with a gentle yoga practice that will awaken your mind, open your heart and get your body moving. We will use our breath to ease into simple stretches and poses. No yoga experience required. You don't even have to be fully awake to participate! Come join and breathe with us, and together we will rise and shine. Mats provided. Sessions Offered: May 28, 29 & 30: 7:00 – 8:00 am