It’s Here: The TAPS Box arrived for the Memorial Day Event

TAPS box image of outside front and front side

Today the mail person dropped off one of the most thoughtful and meaningful pieces of marketing I have ever received. The TAPS (tragedy assistance program for survivors ) box.  Look at this thing.  It is so beautiful that the mail person asked me about it. It really is brilliant on their part to have boxes like this.

It reminds me of the first time I received a box from TAPS. I was searching for a group of people that could help me grieve my father’s passing and could understand the journey to get to his passing and the months after. I tried a bunch of things and each one just wasn’t a right fit for me. I could tell, I didn’t relate to the people, and they asked questions that were more hurtful than helpful. Things like, “Why didn’t he go to a doctor sooner?”, “How come you didn’t try to save him?”, and “How come you only talked to him every once in a while? He was your dad.”

I know that all the questions come from a place of love, support, and their own personal experience. It was that person’s experience that told me I wasn’t in a safe place to share the stories, the journey, or the pain. There were a couple of other things that just didn’t fit for me with so of the organizations I tried. One group was composed mostly of widowers, and I wasn’t one of those. Another group and I didn’t have shared values, so I knew I wasn’t going to hear what they were saying well. Mostly it got down to the comments people made if I shared my father’s story of his passing. I knew that I could find different words to help them hear it differently, but then was it my story or the story I composed for them to be able to take it in?

I was asking around at classes I was taking, friends who were counselors, and anywhere it seemed like someone might know. Finally, a grief counselor in Texas emailed me back and said, “Well, haven’t you contacted TAPS?” Like I should know what that was. I googled, found a phone number, and called. A real person picked up the phone, asked me questions, to make sure I qualified, and then talked with me for a little bit. I had found my people and it felt like I was no longer alone in figuring all of this out. My grief had company. The best part is they got it. They understood the how, when, and why and just said I wasn’t the only one to have had that type of experience. I couldn’t wait to go to one of their regional events. I have since attended two of them.

About a week after that call this box showed up on my doorstep and inside was so much love and understanding in the form of information, merch, and kind words. TAPS made such a difference for me in that moment, I can’t thank them enough for what they do for the families of those who have served in the military.

Today’s box represents the next steps in my grief journey. I contacted TAPS and asked them to send me some brochures to share at the Memorial Day event at the Veterans Cemetery of Minnesota, Little Falls. I am about to share my journey with others and as I do that, I want to increase the awareness of TAPS and other services for families of veterans. My TAPS box today is full of brochures, magazines, and hope.

  • Hope that others will not feel so alone
  • Hope that one simple conversation to start a journey forward
  • Hope that there are better days ahead
  • Hope that one small gesture can make a difference

If you are a family member of a person who served our country through the armed services and you are dealing with the loss of that person, contact TAPS and see if they might be a source of hope for you too.

800-959-TAPS (8277)

Love and happiness as we continue to navigate to the next point in our grief journey,