Last week we asked people what they did on Father’s Day and there were several people who wrote to talk about that special day and what it means to them now. Their responses are written after my message. Ruth also wrote a wonderful message that we put at the very end which will warm your heart. Thanks to all of you who shared this week. The Saturday message wouldn’t be what it is without you.
Survivors have also written in questions that they would like posted to see what replies come back and this week we are going to see one of them. Marisol told me that she should write a book on the 101 Things Not to Say to a Grieving Person. I thought that would be a great topic of discussion for this week. So this week’s question is: What are things not to say to a grieving person and what could they have said that would have been helpful? We have probably all been in the position trying to think of something to say to a friend or family member who has recently had a loved one die. Now that we have been in the same position, we can share thoughts about what to say and why. Please send responses to Carol.Lane@taps.org
We look forward to your comments this coming week and will post them next Saturday.
Father’s Day Thoughts
My son left a wife that was 7 months pregnant when he died and I have a beautiful grandson that is now 7 months old. He looks like my son, happy baby like my son and even does everything at this young age left handed, like my son. This would have been Cory's first Father's Day and oh what a wonderful Dad he would have been. It makes me very sad not only for him, but for my grandson. I will teach him about his Dad and what a wonderful, funny, caring human being he was. That is what I CAN do for Cory and my grandson Elijah.
Thanks for the emails they are very heartfelt and touching real life stories of others like myself living without my beloved son Gregory. He was so full of life and love for his family and he considered his shipmates as family. He touched so many people with his big heart and contagious smile and laughter. Today I went to the site were my beloved Greg lay resting in peace. I felt so bad that his headstone wasn't installed before Memorial Day, but I went out there today and it was installed! That made me feel so much better because I had been frantic walking and walking looking for him at the cemetery. It is now on there and it is very nice to locate my son and be able to place flowers and balloons. I spent the day out there with him just fixing flowers, talking with him, reflecting on him and his precious short life. But I find comfort in knowing this one thing: what greater love then to lay down his life for another. Peace, love and joy be with each of the TAPS family. Happy Father’s Day.
Would it be ok to ask Donn to share the website about his son? I would also like to visit other sites if people have made them to honor their beloved. Thank you.
After contacting Donn and his wife, Jeanne, who agreed to let me post their son, Todd’s website, here is the link: http://1lttoddweaver.org/1lttoddweaver.org/Welcome.html
Happy Father's Day To My 3 Men
Strange to think that I am writing a letter to 3 of the most important men in my life on a holiday that should be so joyous – it even starts with the word “Happy”. But for some of us, it's a bit different these years!
So this year, there are now 3 special military men for me to wish a Very Happy Father's Day to: my brother, Douglas, who served a short time in the Navy during Vietnam who has a beautiful daughter and 3 adorable grandsons! My husband, Michael, who in the Army 121st Airborne served during Vietnam, has a beautiful daughter, handsome son and 9 wonderful grandkids! And, there's my son, Nathan, who served in the Army during the Persian Gulf and the only one who was physically, wounded during service – he has a beautiful daughter and an extremely gifted son just like him! These are my wonderful Men!!!
We want them to know they are never a second from our hearts or our thoughts! Wishing them a Happy Father's Day wherever they are, praying that the peace we wish for them has found them, and as Nate says, “No Worries” how about “No More”!!! We love you all!!!
First of all I want to say thank you to everyone who worked so hard to make the TAPS seminar successful and valuable to those who attended. So many hugs.... each one gave the impression that it was one "Human Understanding Grieving Survivors." Hugs came from those who had just lost their loved one to those who had traveled this journey for years. So many stories to share and in the midst of the deepest hurt came laughter. For me the seminar gave me hope to go forward and to understand that this is not about me but about "us". I no longer stand alone but I stand proud.
I listened to a gold star mother speak last weekend at a gathering in Salem, Oregon. Her message went something like this.....Her son, Joe, died in Afghanistan. She always told her children when they were young and were away from home and missing her, to look down at their chest, a little to the left and she would be right there. When Joe left home for the last time the car pulled away, then stopped and he returned for one more "I love you and a reminder, If you look at your chest, a little to the left I will be there." Joe wrote home and told his mom he was scared but he kept looking at his chest, a little to the left and he knew that he was in his mother's heart. Joe's mom never got to answer the letter, instead she answered the door to soldiers coming to inform her that her son had been killed in battle. She now looks at her chest, a little to the left and keeps Joe and the memories they shared in her heart. God Bless this family. They have taught me so much.
I know now that if I look at my chest, a little to the left that is where I hold Jim. (I always held him in my heart, I had just never heard it put that way.) It is also a place where I hold the memories from my first TAPS seminar.