On September 6, 2021, in Dnipro, the relatives of fallen soldiers gathered for an engaging forum

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  • On September 6, 2021, in Dnipro, the relatives of fallen soldiers gathered for an engaging forum

Relatives of fallen soldiers can receive psychological support from "TAPS Ukraine" not only at the forum. The organization has a rehabilitation program for the families of the fallen.

"The most important thing is communication. We try to gather often. Recently, we went to a health resort. The mothers and wives of fallen soldiers usually know each other for a long time. Some even since 2014. We communicate, and it helps us relax. My son Dmytro Polyevy was a marine. He died in battle near Vodyane in 2017. They say time heals. What a lie! It can only dull the pain," said Mrs. Larisa.

"We have learned to live with the pain. It hasn't gone anywhere. It often hits us, sometimes for no reason. It can become so painful that you literally cry into the pillow. My son Tolya died in the IL-76 plane crash. He had just entered adult life. He was only eighteen," shared Olga Horda.

"We try not to show our pain in public. Sometimes I had to hear: 'Why did he go there?' The answer is, he went there to protect you and your children. My friend says, 'You are a very strong woman. You try to hold on.' I lost two children! After Dmytro's death, my older son couldn't bear it and died of a heart attack. He had his own company and helped the military a lot. It's extremely difficult for us. But we are mothers, we try to stick together and say kind words to each other," said Mrs. Larisa.

"We miss each other a lot, and we would like to see each other more often. It's good that we have phones. However, we dream of the next meeting, to be able to see each other and hug," said Olga Horda.

On Sunday, September 5, Mrs. Larisa and Mrs. Olga were able to finally embrace. They visited the forum for the families of fallen Heroes called "Taking Small Steps Towards Each Other." Members of the Heavenly Hundred families gathered at the city youth leisure park "Novokodatsky." The event was organized by "TAPS Ukraine" with the support of the Dnipro City Council. The forum is held for the second time.

Despite the cool September weather, the relatives of the soldiers bathed in a warm friendly atmosphere. They participated in group sessions with psychologists, yoga, snacks, massage, drumming, and various workshops. There were no boring speeches or officialdom at the forum. At the beginning, the participants were divided into groups to work with psychologists. The organizers selected the psychologists very carefully. All candidates had to have qualifications in trauma and loss work. Many psychologists at the forum traveled to the front lines to work with the guys in field conditions and have been providing support to the families of the fallen since 2014.

"When we experience grief, it takes a lot of strength and resources. There is also a phenomenon of unresolved loss. At first glance, it seems like you have understood and experienced everything, but something prevents you from moving forward. You cannot allow yourself to be happy and look into the future. The forum's task is to teach people to pay attention to their feelings, to help themselves when they feel overwhelmed and unwell," said psychologist Olena Shylova.

Her husband, Sergiy, call sign "Green," died in July 2015. He was blown up near Hnutove on a mine and died in the Mechnikov Hospital in Dnipro. Sergiy Shylov was awarded the title of "People's Hero of Ukraine." Despite this, Mrs. Olena had to spend three years proving that her husband was a veteran. After all, "Green" was the commander of the 2nd company, 8th separate battalion "Aratta" in the DUK PS.

"I know that psychological help works. I managed to get out of it myself and now I want to help others," said Mrs. Olena.

Often, relatives of fallen soldiers encounter indifference or even rudeness from others.

"Why did you let him go to the ATO?" Widows often hear this question. It's as if people around them pour out a wave of negativity. Such aggression only intensifies the pain. Not everyone understands that these guys protected peace over our heads at the cost of their own lives. That's why we really want to support parents and widows," said Liliya Kravets, organizer of all TAPS Ukraine events.

Sometimes, psychologists from "TAPS Ukraine" practically have to reconcile the soldiers' relatives.

"In the process of work, we found that the parents of the fallen soldier and his wife can have conflicts. Children suffer the most from this. We teach adults the art of communication, how to take care of the children and instill a bright memory of their father in their hearts. And you know what? We have achieved very positive results," added Liliya Kravets.

You can receive psychological assistance from "TAPS Ukraine" not only at the forum. The organization has a program for the rehabilitation of the families of the fallen. There is an opportunity to attend individual or group sessions and talk to a psychologist while doing crafts. But in order to find the strength to return to life, the efforts of the psychologist alone are not enough. Therapy yields positive results when the person works on themselves.

"In psychology, there is a principle of fifty-fifty. In other words, 50% of success is the specialist's work, and the remaining 50% is the person's responsibility. If they don't want to move forward and work on their feelings, nothing will work. Of course, a psychologist can arrange dances and turn somersaults, but if the client is passive, not even the psychologist's superhuman efforts will bring results. However, it is very important to choose a specialist with whom you will be maximally comfortable. If one doesn't fit, don't stop. Maybe you will come to another specialist