Saturday Morning Message: Dealing With Emotions That Arise During Holidays, Birthdays, or Death Dates

Author: Carol Lane

Good Morning,
Finding strategies that help deal with emotions that come around special holidays, birth or death dates of our loved ones can be difficult.  This week the Saturday message will answer the question in a slightly different style. 


Several articles from the TAPS magazine archives which appear on the TAPS webpage at were chosen for their ideas on how to deal with those emotions that come up on us so quickly. Each article was chosen, because the author included some ideas that have been helpful when coping with those feelings that come around these dates. 

My hope is that you will read some or all of them and write back about your thoughts on what you have or might like to try from these articles. You can also add your thoughts about things you have tried in the past that have helped relieve these feelings and we will post the comments in a future Saturday message.

For next week’s question think about what advice you would give to someone new to grief.  What was the most helpful thing that someone did for you after the death of your loved one? We have all received advice after the death of our loved one. In our lives, there will be others who face this experience. Let’s share ideas about how to help others in our communities and our friendship circles.  I look forward to your replies. Please send any thoughts you have to


Many of you have seen Darcie Sims, PhDE, CHT, CT, GMS speak at TAPS events. She wrote an article called, “Stop. Look, Listen”  which is a wonderful way to start our journey through the articles about strategies to help with the emotions of grief.  She gives some practical and easy ideas to calm the mind and learn to trust ourselves. 

Betsy Beard, the editor of the TAPS magazine, wrote an article called “Anniversary Blues” in which she describes her feelings around the anniversary of her son’s death as well as some strategies that have helped.   

Leslie McCaddon, a surviving spouse, wrote “Self Care Reconnecting….with Myself” which is an article about how to take care of yourself when you find yourself the sole parent of young children. Her commentary talks warmly about reaching out to others who can assist us and being gentle with ourselves.  

Gloria C. Horsley, PhD, MFT, RN and Heidi Horsley, PsyD, MSW, MS are a parent and sibling team who write about their loss in the article “Bonds with the Deceased Don’t Have to End.”  While coping with their loss, they developed a weekly radio show called “Healing the Grieving Heart”. In the article, they list some creative suggestions that came from those who listened or came to the radio show. 

Lee Vincent wrote an article from a father’s point of view called “A Father’s Grief Finding a Game Plan to Honor Your Loss.”  He suggests ways he found helped on his journey after the death of his daughter including creating your own celebrations and finding companionship at a TAPS seminar. 

Other Items and Events of Interest

Arlington Cemetery family at headstone

Join us on Memorial Day Weekend, May 28 to 30, for our 27th Annual National Military Survivor Seminar! We will be live streaming all of our general sessions with guest speakers.

Important Note: In-person registration is still open, but we are in a waitlist situation due to COVID occupancy restrictions in the State of Virginia. 

If you have any questions, email or call our Helpline at 202.588.TAPS (8277).

Learn More and Register


▶▶  Connect With Your TAPS Family 

You can discover all the opportunities to connect with your TAPS Family on our website at the TAPS Event Calendar.

About the Saturday Morning Message

The Saturday Morning Message (SMM) is a weekly communication contributed by survivors. The primary focus of the SMM is to foster peer-based connections for support and encouragement. It is the goal of this communication to foster a safe, supportive place where we can openly share in a nonjudgmental and caring manner. Read and contribute as you are comfortable. Content submitted for the SMM is edited for space considerations and may be used in other TAPS publications. The loving family at TAPS is available to you 24 hours a day. Please call 202-588-TAPS (8277).