Saturday Morning Message: Reward Your Bravery

Author: Carol Lane

Good Morning,

Taking care of yourself can be a hard concept for many of us. Most survivors have been raised to think that giving to others is more important than taking care of our needs. When you are grieving, it is important to take care of yourself since grief depletes both physical and mental energy. Self-care is not selfish; it is necessary to replenish ourselves so we can have the stamina to care for others.

Survivor overlooking cliff

This week Annie, Leslie, and Mary-Ann have shared their plans for the New Year. In addition I want to reveal my ways to unwind. I really enjoy is gardening. Not only do I have home gardens, but joining the local garden club has been helpful as we meet regularly in the summer. We not only talk gardens, but we laugh and just have fun with each other. Taking care of the garden in our town that is dedicated to the three young men who have died in service to our country from our town has been an uplifting experience. In the winter, it is hard to garden where we live, so I have joined a knitting club. 

An interesting article that lists some ways to energize us comes from the archives of the TAPS magazine. The article is called “Tips for Self-Care” written by Judy Tatelbaum, LCSW. I particularly like the last passage where she suggests that you write a list of what relaxes you, delights you, and engages you. Don’t try to do all her suggestions at once. Pick one and let us know what you found. It would be delightful to post your ideas in a future Saturday message.

Shari, surviving spouse of Craig had a question for next week. She wanted some ideas on how to make anniversaries or dates that are significant around our loved ones more positive in the coming year.How do you celebrate the life of your loved one when special days arrive? We look forward to your replies.

If you would like to send a response to the question of the week or have a subject that you might want to hear responses from other survivors, just hit the Reply button and the information will come directly to me. I would love to hear from you anytime about anything. It doesn’t have to be a reply to the Saturday message. Sometimes just writing to someone is helpful. You can email me anytime at


From TAPS Survivors:

From Annie, surviving mother of Michael: Brrrrrr! Get out the hot water bottles for your feet! Well what I have decided to do for me this year is to go for a facial once a month or every six weeks. I feel as I am aging my skin can use some help and I know it will be relaxing for me also.

From Leslie, surviving mother of Eugene: I play the piano. My son learned from an early age to sleep through Liszt, Rachmaninoff, and other wonderful composers. Yet, he was very encouraging after I had several strokes. I managed to get back most of the use of my left arm and instead of sleeping through he would listen and comment. I have decided to start giving piano lessons to my grandkids. One is mine biologically and the rest of them are mine because I love them all. To all I am Grandma Leslie. I started the 6 year old this morning. We bought her a digital electric piano for Chanukah.

From Mary-Ann, surviving mother of Blake: This year one of my "to do's" is to turn negative thoughts into more positive ones. I plan on trying to do this by thinking of the happy times we had with our Blake whenever the painful thoughts enter my mind. I plan on entering these memories into a log I've started keeping. I want to log my good memories of my Blake so I can look back at them and smile at all the loving, caring times as well as his accomplishments and all the humor. I know he'll always be in my heart, but ageing sometimes removes much of our memories and I don't ever want to lose those precious memories.


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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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The TAPS National Military Suicide Survivor Seminar is going virtual. Held October 16-18, you will hear from others who have walked the road you are traveling. Sessions will offer vital information on anxiety, loss and family dynamics, talking to children and more. The grief that follows suicide loss can be uniquely complicated. You are not alone, and we invite you to join us for a time of hope and healing. 

Celebrating 20 Years of Team TAPS 

For 20 years, Team TAPS has honored our heroes and raised awareness and funds to support the TAPS mission. This year, in celebration of our 20th anniversary, we are coming together to create a virtual movement. We will walk, run, bike, swim, and row - find ways to move in honor of our loved ones. We will gain strength, go the distance, and encourage each other. Join us for this adventure

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

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We're all in this together

Have you lost your job or have reduced household income? How has the pandemic made an impact on your life? 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. Please share how COVID-19 has impacted you by taking our survey.


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, 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

Those who take either survey will receive a discount to the TAPS store for providing this important and valuable feedback.

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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.