Reading the article by Alan Wolfelt, PhD in this TAPS magazine made me think of this message. The article was about the geese flying south as winter approaches. When one is struggling, two others drop out to help the stressed goose. That is the purpose of the TAPS organization as a whole and this Saturday message is a small part of that help.
We are here to ask questions about grief and then others write back with suggestions. In that way, we help other survivors all over the country. It is quite amazing when you think about it. You will notice that some responders don’t know the answer to this week’s question from Cherie: What do you do on the anniversary of the last day that you saw your loved one? Another way to look at this question is:What are you doing to celebrate the life of your loved one? That is OK. Somehow it helps to know that we are all traveling this journey and can reach out whenever there is a need.
Question for next week from Amanda: As you travel this journey, what has been the most helpful to you? I look forward to your replies.
What do you do on the anniversary of the last day that you saw your loved one? Another way to look at this question is: What are you doing to celebrate the life of your loved one?
I believe that my faith was my biggest help when my son passed. Also my family, friends and church family surrounded with my love and support. I found TAPS this past May and that has also been a tremendous support in my journey.
When my son died I did research online and found a man named Ron Zaleski, a US Marine who walked from NYC to the West Coast barefoot the whole way with a sandwich board that said "18 Soldiers Commit Suicide per Day." I had him speak at my son’s funeral and that is when I decided that I wanted to bring awareness to the public about suicide and work on prevention programs.
Also my son’s brothers-in-arms have kept in contact with me and support me. After losing my son there were times I felt I could not go on but I know God has plans for me and a big part of those plans include bringing suicide awareness to the public eye and supporting the suicide prevention program. I try to keep my son’s life memories alive and try to honor him.
I don't know yet. I am still a raw bundle of emotions right now. When I heal more, maybe, my celebration of the anniversary will happen.
I have a memorial sticker on my back window in the shape of a soldier. I am proud of my son.
What has been the most helpful to me is receiving cards from a best friend. She always sends cards to encourage me and lift my spirits. The support of TAPS and the people in it, especially you, has been invaluable.
I try to pick up my spirits with good thoughts of my son and the way he was. I was extremely proud of him. He loved everyone and was there for everyone and they knew it. He made a huge difference in my life and so many others also.
Anniversaries, birthdays, and holidays are the most difficult times for me. Even my birthday that just passed was not the same without him. I miss him every day.
I miss my husband and son so very much. It seems to be getting worse and not better. I have to work on things to do that will honor their memories. Taking it one day at a time with the help from the Lord and how he puts into my life.
Our only child, Eric, left this world May 26, 2012. It is simply unbearable to me. However, I have created a memorial garden for him. I like to take care of it, weeding and mulching and moving and adding things all help me. I am also creating several shadow boxes. I started with one in mind but realized I couldn’t possibly capture his life in just one box. My husband and father were in the military so, things put in just the right place is very important to them. So, the main shadowbox will be just military.
I received so much help and support when our son passed. Unbelievable, actually. I started thinking,” What about those moms whose son wasn’t a military hero and the whole state/country doesn’t help her? What about those moms who had precious sons that were young and made a bad decision to drive too fast or drink and drive?” Not many are there for those parents because of the circumstances. So, in honor of my son, I am doing my best to help these families. (Looks funny to see these words since I still need help myself with the smallest of tasks) I am very good at Power Points and offer my assistance to make the slide show for the family. So far, I haven’t had any takers. But, my offer is always out there.
"For me, it will be a blessing to just survive through Oct 19 & 20, one second at a time until those days have passed. My pain is still too fresh to do something meaningful."
From Carol S.:
Rudy has a Facebook account that we all still post on. He has impacted all of us in so many different ways, any special day or memory or milestone in our lives gets posted to him. This helps me personally to keep his memory alive. His sister just had a birthday; I know he would be so proud of her. This really helps me, I know it helps all of us. Army Specialist Rudy A. Acosta will NEVER be forgotten.
I don't do anything special on the day/date that I last saw my son. I think of him all the time and try to celebrate his life and not concentrate on his death. It's very hard but you need to realize that your loved one's death is not the definition of his life.