Saturday Morning Message: Ways to Re-Energize

Author: Carol Lane

Good Morning,

When we put forth emotional or physical energy, we need to take time for ourselves to relax and re-energize. Walking through my garden is rejuvenating for me. Looking at the changes throughout the year brings joy. I wanted to share this picture of creeping phlox appearing to spill down the hill with you this morning. When I came home from TAPS National Seminar, there they were waiting for me to observe.

carols garden

Each season--sometimes each week--in the garden is different. Walking through is never the same. There is always a surprise waiting around the corner. Sitting on a bench and listening to the birds or watching the bees going about their daily tasks can bring peacefulness that fills my heart as it refreshes my energy. Other survivors wrote to share the ways they unwind. As you are reading, decide what might work for you. You may find something you haven’t tried before. I found several ideas that are new to me. Thank you to all those who wrote to share this week.

Would you like to share a meaningful song or see how other survivors respond to a topic or question you have? I would love to gather some thoughts for future Saturday Morning Messages. It can be helpful to read how others cope. In addition to the ideas shared below, we can also honor our loved ones by communicating with each other through writing. You never know how your words may touch the heart of another. I encourage you to reply to the Saturday Morning Message by sending it directly to carol.lane@taps.org. This week's question is located below my signature. Thank you to everyone responding this week and those who read this message.

Hugs,
Carol

QUESTION FOR NEXT WEEK’S SATURDAY MESSAGE

You may be asking yourself how others honor special days shared with your loved one like birthdays, anniversaries, or even the day your loved one passed. Next week, let’s share what we do on these days of note.

♫ SONG FOR THE WEEK

Andy, father of Daniel, made a playlist of the songs that have been on the Saturday Morning Message called TAPS Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors Playlist Suggested Memories of Love along with a few other songs special to him. To hear it, you need to download a free program called Spotify. I want to thank Andy for this gift. 

I asked Andy what song he would like listed as the song for this week. He chose "To A Poet" from First Aid Kit. The song can be played by clicking the title link. This version included the song and the written lyrics.

ANSWERS FROM SURVIVORS

From Georgianna, mother of Jamie: I am so thankful that I went to the TAPS Memorial Day Weekend with it being one year for my son. I needed to feel the togetherness of people who could relate to me and understand my new walk. There was a lot I didn't do, because of the strength that I only now have. I am looking forward to the strength of the second year to go to TAPS Memorial Day next year. I am swimming more. I have changed my eating habits. This has taken a lot of strength for me, but I am making progress, and pressing towards the mark. I think about everything that I got to do at TAPS to rejuvenate me so I can continue finding new strength. :)

From Monica, spouse of Dameshvar: There aren't too many ways I re-energize myself these days, but I do enjoy a healing arts therapy massage twice per month. I have also enjoyed traveling with my children. Our favorite quick getaway is Disneyland. It's fun watching my kids run through the park to get on their favorite roller coaster or ride. We also love Hawaii. It is very peaceful and serene connecting with nature.

From Diane, mother of Caleb: My Memorial Day was spent with my TAPS family in Arlington. What a meaningful time. Since I've been home I've re-energized myself by sleeping! :) It's been important for me to go for long walks with Griz, and listen to music. Yesterday I took a day trip to the mountains and went through Garden of the Gods. It refreshed my soul to be in the majesty of God's creation--smelling fresh mountain air and gazing upon his artwork. Just being silent before Him helps put things into perspective. He is with me always.

From Merry, mother of Wesley: I regenerate by being in solitude. So I like gardening in my backyard, visiting old missions when I'm in California, listening to meditative music, or going to the mountains alone. I'm usually really busy with people on a monthly basis, but staggered every week. I'm a member of lots of groups. I love visiting Eric and Rebekah, my son and daughter-in-law. I attend church once a week and walk there since it's close, praying along the way. Naps work, too. Oh, having a massage occasionally is a welcome splurge.

From Christine, mother of Adam: To reenergize, I try to stay calm. I try to stay in the moment and not worry about later. I practice yoga deep breathing. I crochet for charity. When I don't have postage, I still try to do something for someone else. A group of women from a church, thirty minutes away, send me words of encouragement. I write them and have made them prayer cloths. (Christine sent a picture of one of the prayer cloths she made.) I worked with one of the senior pastors last summer. My daughter puts money on a Starbucks card. Once in a while, I stop just for regular coffee.

From Roseanne, mother of Christopher: Simply put, this time of year, I wake up early--sometimes before sunrise. I start with a short prayer, brew a fresh cup of coffee, go out to the small vegetable garden and weed or water. Taking some short breaks, I'll look up to the sky, close my eyes, feel Chris’s spirit, and end with another short prayer. If it takes 30 minutes total, I feel I started my day out right, putting God first, yet getting some of my earthly chores accomplished.


UPCOMING VIDEO AND TEXT CHATS
 

chat icon

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
 

calendar icon

#ListenLearnLove 

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.
 

pencil icon

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 illnessloss@taps.org

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

shopping cart icon

AmazonSmile is a simple way for you to support TAPS every time you shop, at no cost to you. Visit smile.amazon.com, 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 online@taps.org.

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.