Carrying On: Tips for Helping the Bereaved in a Time of Uncertainty

National Nonprofit Assisting All Those Grieving the Death of a Loved One Who Served in the Military Offers Advice to Help


ARLINGTON, Va. – It’s a time of uncertainty for our nation as we face the threat posed by the Coronavirus, and for those who are already struggling with grief, these troublesome times add more stress.

At any given time, about 7.5 percent of the U.S. population, or 25 million people, are grieving a death that occurred under normal circumstances. The added weight of uncertainty and the threat of the Coronavirus can add to the trauma and stress load carried by the bereaved.

“In a time when we are being asked to keep a physical distance between ourself and others, including those who were our supporters, we may feel even more isolated in our grief,” said TAPS Founder and President Bonnie Carroll. “This is the time when we can lean on our TAPS family, and find strength with our Peer Mentors and in our online communities. We can also reach out 24/7 to TAPS through the National Military Survivor Helpline at 800.959.TAPS. We are a family, here for each other.”

To help, the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS) offers the following tips for the bereaved:

Take time to reflect. Slow down from a fast-paced lifestyle and allow yourself the time and space to reflect.

Practice self-compassion. Make time to recharge and spend time taking care of yourself, the way you take care of others who need support.

Pursue health and wellness. Make healthy food choices, get plenty of exercise and get adequate rest. Try to avoid stress-eating. Refrain from using excessive amounts of alcohol or caffeine, and avoid tobacco, marijuana and illegal drugs.

Hone your mind and focus. Cope with stress and anxiety by practicing (or learning) some new meditation skills, breathing techniques, and mindfulness practices, or faith-based focused prayer.

Stay virtually connected to your social supports. Talk to family and friends through phone, texting, or video chats.  If you see a therapist, call them to see how they will handle appointments; or locate a new provider who offers web-based or telehealth counseling services. 


The Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS) is the leading national organization providing compassionate care and survivor support services for the families of America’s fallen military heroes. Since 1994, TAPS has offered support to more than 90,000 survivors of fallen military in the form of peer-based emotional support, grief and trauma resources, grief seminars and retreats for adults, Good Grief Camps for children, casework assistance, connections to community-based care, online and in-person support groups and a 24/7 resource and information helpline for all who have been profoundly affected by a death of a military loved one. Services are provided free of charge. For more information go to or call the toll-free TAPS resource and information helpline at 1.800.959.TAPS (8277).

Media Interviews: Please contact or 202.588.8277 to arrange interviews with TAPS staff and survivors.