Families of fallen troops get support coping with grief

Families of fallen troops get the support they need in coping with grief at a Cleveland seminar.

The seminar took place at Cornerstone of Hope on Brecksville Road and included everyone from kids to senior citizens, all looking to help heal in the loss of a loved one who served our United States military.

The Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors, or TAPS, is the organization that put together the seminar for Northeast Ohio families. TAPS is national organization that provides peer-based emotional support and has served more than 40,000 surviving family members since the early 90s.  But unlike other organizations, Darcie Sims, TAPS' Director of Training explained, their goal is to help families celebrate a life and not dwell on death.

"What we don't have that we really need is someone to listen to us. Not to share advice, not to try to compare the losses, or to say, 'Oh, you'll get over it, you're doing fine,' just to be that caring, listening presence. To ask us about our loved ones and to let us talk until the story changes from the death story, to the life story and then let us tell the memories of the life," said Sims.

Sims told NewsChannel5 she had to cope with her father and son passing, both men also members of the United States military.

"We are all military families who've come together and said there has to be more than a folded flag," Sims said.

The program includes a Grief Seminar for adults and a Good Grief Camp for children, helping kids to identify, understand and cope with their emotions. This particular seminar began on October 4th and will end October 6th.

Saturday's session ended with a balloon launch that included messages tied to the balloons and messages of love written right on them.

More information on TAPS can be found at www.TAPS.org .

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