TAPS RETREAT OFFERS SUPPORT TO THOSE GRIEVING DEATHS OF SIBLINGS IN WARTIME Deep sea fishing, farm fun, ropes course help grieving brothers and sisters bond and cope
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – September 18, 2012
WILMINGTON, N.C. – Losing a sibling who served in the military affects the brothers and sisters left behind for life - but they don’t have to walk grief’s journey alone. The Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS) will hold a retreat for 40 people grieving the death of a brother or sister who served in the military September 20-22.
While at the retreat, they will get to know each other on the ropes course, and while horseback riding and deep sea fishing – but it will be in still moments on the beach or over a meal, when siblings can talk deeply about the many ways grief has impacted and changed their lives.
It is these conversations with others who have experienced a similar loss that can help the most. And why so many who've lost a brother or sister serving in the military are traveling across several states and taking time off from their jobs and families to be at the retreat.
The death of a brother or sister has a profound impact, yet it is rarely understood by society. Bereavement professionals call sibling loss “disenfranchised grief.”
It is common for people to ask siblings of someone who died how their parents or sister-in-law are doing – but rare for someone to ask how the sibling is coping. It’s common for siblings to step in to help with funeral preparations and support others who are grieving – while neglecting themselves.
As a result, those grieving the death of a brother or sister often feel isolated and alone – a situation compounded by military loss, where service members often die far from home suddenly and violently.
Surviving siblings grieve the loss of someone who shared their memories and childhoods. They lose a companion they’d assumed would be there throughout their lives. Siblings grieve the loss of a future they will never have, as well as the death of a cherished lifelong friend.
MEDIA COVERAGE INVITED (select events available for press coverage)Thursday, September 209:30am-11:30am – Ropes challenge course at University of North Carolina - Wilmington 4:00pm-7:00pm – Down home fun at Shingleton Farm – horseback riding, hayrides
Friday, September 219:00am-12:00pm – Bonding time on the beach with others grieving a military loss1:00pm-4:00pm – Bonding time on the beach with others grieving a military loss
Saturday, September 229:00am-2:00pm – Deep sea fishing
This is the fifth sibling retreat TAPS has held since 2008. Previous retreats were held in Seattle, Wash., Las Vegas, Nev. and San Antonio, Texas.
TAPS offers other services to help those grieving the death of a brother or sister who served in the military. More than 300 adult survivors participate in the online TAPS sibling support group. The TAPS peer mentoring program pairs up survivors with others who have experienced a similar loss who listen and support their grief journeys. TAPS care groups offer localized in-person support and many siblings ask TAPS to help them connect with grief counseling or support groups where they live.
Bereaved siblings also attend TAPS regional seminars for help and support, get the TAPS magazine and other grief resources, and can request casualty casework assistance. Children who are grieving the death of a brother or sister who served in the military can attend the TAPS Good Grief Camp for specialized care and support.
Supporters for the EventShingleton Farms (http://www.shingletonfarms.com) is donating many services to TAPS to help support the TAPS Sibling Retreat. The nonprofit organization Step Up for Soldiers donated some drinks for the event and the Marine Corps League of Hampstead, N.C. is assisting with volunteers.
About TAPSSince its founding in 1994 by bereaved military families, TAPS has helped more than 35,000 grieving military family members and their caregivers. TAPS provides peer-based emotional support, grief and trauma resources, seminars for adults, Good Grief Camps for children, connections to community-based care, casualty casework assistance, and a 24/7 resource and information help line for all who have been affected by a death in the Armed Forces. Services are provided free of charge. For more information go to www.taps.org or call the toll-free resource and information help line at 800.959.TAPS (8277).
Media Contact for TAPS: Ami Neiberger-Miller, 202.588.8277, firstname.lastname@example.org
Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors, Inc., Tax ID# 92-01522683033 Wilson Blvd. Suite 630, Arlington, VA 22201
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