"Postvention is a critical component of any comprehensive suicide prevention strategy."~ Kim Ruocco, Vice President, TAPS Suicide Prevention & Postvention
Suicide Loss Support: We've Got You
TAPS has supported thousands of survivors of military suicide loss by offering them hope, healing, and renewed opportunities for personal growth. If you’ve lost a military loved one to suicide, you've come to the right place. We've got you. At TAPS we understand that suicide grief is different. We know that you are struggling with a range of powerful emotions and wrestling with very complicated questions. Why did this happen? Where do I go from here?
Fortunately, you are not alone on this journey. We are survivors just like you. We have been down the road you are traveling. Let us help you best honor your loved one’s life. TAPS special resources and programming provide compassionate care to all survivors of military suicide loss. Our unique approach will help stabilize you and your family, guide you through "healthy grief," and put you on a path toward healing and growth.
We are you. You are us. Let's heal together.
You are not alone.
Grief can feel very isolating, but you don't have to walk this journey alone. We've been down the road you're traveling, and we are here for you.
You will NOT always feel this much pain.
As time passes, the hurt you feel now will change. We know from experience that your emotional pain will subside and soften with time. It won't always feel like it does right now.
Most people who die by suicide do not want to die. They want their pain to end.
Whatever pain brought our loved ones to end their lives, it inhibited them from thinking clearly and from fully comprehending the heartbreak their suicides would cause.
Suicide is the "perfect storm" event.
Suicide is rarely the result of just one person, conversation, or event. It usually involves multiple, complex factors that culminate in a "perfect storm."
You can’t prevent what you can’t predict.
There was no way you could have known it would happen that very day, at that precise moment. You cannot control the thoughts and actions of others.
Eventually, the questions will cease to be so all encompassing.
"Why?" "What if?" Most of us who have experienced suicide loss wrestle with these and other questions for a long time. This is normal. It helps us to learn enough "to suffice," to process our thoughts so that we can eventually find peace.
What you tell yourself matters.
How you talk to yourself about what happened can shape the experience of your grief journey. Trust what you know about your loved one, and choose to tell yourself the story that best helps you heal.
Suicide is not a reflection of love.
People who die by suicide may have believed they were a burden to the people they loved. They thought that their families would be better off without them. Whereas we know this to be untrue, our loved ones could not see clearly through the fog of their emotional pain.
How you cope with this is up to you.
You didn't choose for this to happen to you, but you do get to decide how to respond to it. You have a say in how you heal.
Love never ends.
When your loved one died, the love you shared didn't just stop. Your relationship continues. Keep the memories alive in all that you do.
For survivors in need of immediate suicide postvention support, please contact us at 800-959-8277.
January 2021: TAPS has published a peer-reviewed article in the field-leading scholarly journal Death Studies. Read “TAPS Suicide Postvention ModelTM: A Comprehensive Framework of Healing and Growth" to learn about our three-phase approach to care that is beneficial to both survivors and providers in the aftermath of a death by suicide. This document is the culmination of a more than decade of care to thousands of survivors of military and veteran suicide loss.
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Death is not the defining feature of a life. On the contrary. TAPS has created special resources and programming that provide compassionate care to survivors so they can best honor their loved one’s entire story.
One weekend each fall, TAPS suicide loss survivors gather at a resort to continue the work of healing. The program includes peer-to-peer grief support, access to resources and experts, grief workshops, art therapy, family entertainment, and LOVE.
TAPS staff, who are trained and caring survivors, reach out to new surviving family members as peer professionals. These trained and caring survivors understand well the road you are traveling. They are available around the clock to help.
Suicide loss survivors are paired with peer mentors who have themselves experienced a loss due to suicide. Our peer mentors are there to listen when you need someone to talk to, to be a friend when you're feeling lonely, and to celebrate the triumphs.
TAPS hosts a live online chat twice a month for just suicide loss survivors that is moderated by our suicide survivor staff members, as well as other ways to stay connected virtually. Join us to learn more.
Hear from those who have been down the road you are traveling. See additional articles on suicide loss.
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TAPS helps survivors find a stable, healthy path to healing, allowing them to establish a new life after loss.