Saturday Morning Message: Helpful Strategies While Grieving

Author: Carol Lane

Good Morning,

Finding strategies that work while grieving can be exhausting. That is where TAPS can help. In addition to the message board, online Yahoo groups, peer mentors, and chats, there is a service from TAPS called the Community Resource Reports which are compiled and mailed to survivors about grief supports in their local areas. For more information about these reports, read  the article: TAPS Community Resource Reports for Military Survivors published in an edition of the TAPS Magazine which explains what these reports are in more detail.   

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This week several survivors sent in their ideas on strategies that help them while grieving.  Thank you to those who wrote in to share ideas. I get a smile on my face when I see email responses to a Saturday message come in with an answer to the week's question or a comment about one of the Saturday messages.  Other survivors write to ask a question which will appear in a future message or a query about how to access something on the TAPS website. Please feel free to write at any time. Together we can make this a very important healing tool.

The question for next week came from Sarah. She wrote that "clothes are an extension of oneself- in mood, confidence, and how you want to present yourself."   Clothes aren't the only things that might have changed since the death of your loved one.  You might also have acquired some jewelry that you now wear. Next week's question is:  How has your wardrobe and/or accessories changed in the aftermath of your loved one's death? I look forward to your answers.



Helpful Strategies While Grieving

From Jody, surviving mother of Curtis: My peer mentor just kept telling me to take it minute by minute and it would get easier.  I never thought it would, but I have come to realize that this tragedy has made me more aware of my fellow human beings, restored my faith that there really are good, good people out there and just how strong we can be when the need arises.  There are angels out there who have touched me at my darkest moments and angels who laughed with me and made me see that life is still worth living....

From Mary-Ann, surviving mother of Blake: I just keep reminding myself I have two other children and a husband who are alive and hurting, too, and that we all need to pull together to help one another through the hardest journey any of us have had to go through. I feel that keeping the family that is still alive close together and tight knit is largely what has helped us to keep going forward. So what if the housework doesn't get completed! If you or your other family members are in need of some extra TLC, I feel that should be the highest on the priority list. Dust will always fall, but only God knows how long we will have our loved ones with us. My husband and children have been blessed to have very understanding people to work for who have given them the time off as needed to heal.

There are many things we no longer do. Maybe we'll get back to them later on down the road. They are just not so important at this time in our lives. At this time taking care of one another as we are healing is the highest thing on our list!

From Linda, surviving mother of Jason: I have learned to walk away from those who don't support me and don't understand. Jason was and will always be first in my life. I think of him every day and it's been 7 years. I try to keep busy with no time limits. I do and go at my own pace. Life is too short to be rushing to get things done. Every day is a learning experience and you just go with the flow. I talk more to God. He has put many people in my path who have taught me a lot. My new life is like being on a rollercoaster- lots of ups and downs and some days go faster than others. I keep thoughts away about the future and what I will never have or never be. It's been a rough road. I made bad choices and some good ones, but it has gotten easier once I accepted my new life. I don't cry every day any more. I don't wake up at 3AM to get on line any more. I don't think about tomorrow, just today and what I'm going to start or finish.


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Visit the TAPS Online Community Calendar for this week's schedule of text and video chats and other offerings. We have a virtual gathering most days of the week. Whether you want to share your story or just read how other survivors are sharing and coping, this online grief support community is a way for you to develop and strengthen your connections with TAPS.

Other Items and Events of Interest

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This Summer, Youth Programs is hosting TAPS Good Grief and Family Camp at Home through August 28. Each week, there are activities and challenges you can complete individually and as a family. Missed a week? No problem - all activities and challenges from previous weeks are available online. Join us for opportunities for you and the kids to connect to mentors and other families through Zoom sessions.

Make plans to join us for our next Virtual Military Survivor Seminar, August 21 and 22. We have new, dynamic sessions available throughout the weekend at no cost, with all of the resources, care and love we can offer, coming to you in the comfort of your home. We'll also have Share Groups, our facilitated support groups, where you can meet other survivors with similar loss experience. We look forward to seeing you online soon!

Save the date! Please join us for the Military Survivor New to Grief Seminar, once per week from September 3 to 24. Together we will work toward two primary goals. First, we will grow deeper understandings as we deconstruct myths about grief, explore the cognitive and physical impacts of grief, and seek to establish a helpful language around our own experiences. Second, we will establish community among our peers so that we have others who have a strong desire to accompany us as we continue navigating the ups and downs of our loss and grief.

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Did you lose your loved on due to an illness loss

If your military loved one suffered with a wound, illness, or injury, please consider taking our new Illness Loss Survivor Survey before August 18th, 2020, so TAPS can honor your loved one through our advocacy efforts. If you took the survey last year, we ask that you retake it as we've made important updates. Your response could help shape policy and legislation, and direct future TAPS programs and services. To learn more, email

Have you lost your job, or have reduced work hours? Or are otherwise affected by COVID-19? If you are grieving the death of a loved one, and their life included military service, we'd like to hear from you. Your feedback will be used to improve TAPS programs and to communicate survivor needs to donors and stakeholders. Tell us more.

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AmazonSmile is a simple way for you to support TAPS every time you shop, at no cost to you. Visit, log in, and select TAPS as your charity of choice. Amazon will give 0.5% of your eligible purchases to TAPS.

About the Saturday Morning Message

The Saturday Morning Message (SMM) is a weekly communication; written and contributed to by survivors. The primary focus of the Saturday Morning Message is to foster peer-based connection for support and encouragement.  It is the goal of this communication to foster a safe, supportive atmosphere where we can openly share in a non-judgmental and caring manner. Read and contribute as you are comfortable, and explore any opinions/ideas shared that are most beneficial to you on your individual journey. Content submitted for inclusion in the Saturday Morning Message is edited for spacing considerations, grammatical corrections and may be used in other TAPS publications.  

To subscribe or contribute to the Saturday Morning Message email

If you ever need to speak to someone regarding an urgent matter or just need a listening ear, the loving family at TAPS is available to you 24 hours a day. Please feel free to contact TAPS at 800-959-8277.