Saturday Morning Message: Winter Songs

Author: Carol Lane

Good Morning,

This week, survivors sent winter songs that express their connection to their loved ones during this season. It seemed this  picture taken at the TAPS National Military Survivor Seminar in May is particularly appropriate since one of the songs sent by a survivor is "Little Drummer Boy." Seeing how the band members interact with a young survivor is touching and is reminiscent of this song. 

National Military Seminar Tatoo

Another interesting note is that two survivors sent the same song, but sung by different people. Isn't that how grief works? Everyone walks a path on their own, but we can share some emotions together. That is what makes us a family. 

All of the songs are wonderful, and I want to thank those who sent them as well as those who will be reading this message and listening. I know that I enjoyed each song as well as the memory written about each one. 

In order to keep the Saturday Morning Message fresh, I am always looking for more questions. If you have questions or topics you would like to see addressed in the Saturday Morning Message, you can email me at carol.lane@taps.org. In addition to replies that are placed in the message, I also look for thoughts you have. You can write to me anytime just to communicate or to share your thoughts on what could make the Saturday Morning Message more supportive. Responders always enjoy reading what you liked about their writing. I make sure your thoughts are passed to the survivor. Replies to the weekly question are best sent to me by Tuesday afternoon. You are an important part of this message and I look forward to your questions or any ideas you may have. 

Other than this week, which is a message about winter songs, each Saturday Morning Message includes a section called "Song for the Week." If you have a song that is special to you or reminds you of your loved one, please send it along with a sentence or two about what makes this song distinctive. 

Hugs,
Carol 

Question for Next Week's Saturday Morning Message 

Linda, mother of Eric, wrote, "I have a question for the Saturday Morning Message. I am proud and angry all at the same time. I understand it's one of the phases of grief, but mine has not wavered nor decreased at all." Linda's question for this week is: How can I stop being angry and focus more on the pride my son felt while serving?  I know that others have faced this dilemma and can help with these emotions by sharing what they have done to alleviate this feeling. We look forward to your responses. 

Answers from Survivors with Song 

From Adra, mother of Kyle:  "Everything is different now. Beautiful things are bittersweet. Little things sometimes mean more. I don't dance, I rarely sing. Yet, the peace I feel is deeper. Some of my relationships are deeper and more meaningful. Music was such an important part of our lives together." The songs for this season Adra sent are "Little Drummer Boy" sung by Bob Seger and "Go Rest High on that Mountain" sung by Vince Gill. "As a little boy, Kyle would well up with tears over 'Little Drummer Boy.' So, my life isn't full in the way it was before, but I'm doing the best I can."

From Amy, spouse of Jonathan: My all-time favorite holiday song is "Silent Night." Listening to the melody and the words of this song bring me a sense of calm I can't explain. It reminds me to be still, to be silent, to just be. More specifically, I enjoy the a capella version performed by Pentatonix. When I hear all five voices singing different parts, all coming together to form a harmonious blend, I'm reminded that this is life - a little chaos with the intention of beauty. I am driven by music, especially that which offers a heavenly peace to my soul.

From Diane, mother of Caleb:  No matter where I went that first Christmas after Caleb went to heaven, "Silent Night" was playing. I like John Denver singing "Silent Night" especially since it was written to be played on guitar. As I listened to the words with new ears I heard the message meant for me from heaven.

"Silent night, holy night, all is calm, all is bright." It was like Caleb was saying, "All is well, Mom."

In the silence and holiness of the moment, there was solace and assurance.

From Leslie, mother of Eugene: Leslie sent "All I Want for Christmas Is You" sung by LeAnn Rimes. Leslie wrote, "Five days before Christmas is Eugene's birthday. He would have been 39 this year. Six days after Christmas 2010 was the last time I saw my son. If wishes could be granted we would all like our soldiers back." She also sent "Christmas Canon" by the Trans-Siberian Orchestra.

From James, father of Andrew:  I have always considered "Feliz Navidad," written and sung by Jose Feliciano, to be one of the best "feel good" songs ever. Don't you just smile when you hear it? How can you not purely enjoy the "Ahaaa!" thrown in at the middle of the song? And it sincerely expresses a desire to share a simple wish: a wish for you individually and for everyone collectively. A wish, given from the purest place - "from the bottom of my heart." The simple message of this song meshes so well with the honest and deeply sincere wishes that those at TAPS feel, believe and express unto others. Like TAPS, this song uniquely stands out from all others for how and what it expresses and accomplishes. Also, like TAPS, it can provide a little boost just by being there and it can also be transformational, again, for you individually and for everyone collectively.


UPCOMING VIDEO AND TEXT CHATS
 

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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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Women's Empowerment Programming

If you’re looking to connect with other surviving women, you may just find your sisterhood during our fall weekly Women’s Empowerment sessions! These sessions are open to all TAPS women wrestling with questions of identity and purpose after loss. You can join this safe, supportive online environment via webcam. Our weekly schedule offers sessions on Tuesday through Friday each week.

Central Regional Seminar 

Join us at the Central Regional Seminar on  November 13 to 15 for a time of sharing, hope, and healing. Our seminars are designed to meet you where you are and help you gain coping skills that will help you find meaning and purpose as you move forward on your grief journey. We are working to make arrangements for this event with safety in mind and look forward to being together again. Thanks to the generosity of our sponsors, TAPS provides all lodging, meals, materials, activities, and T-shirts at no cost to you.

Dare to Lead - Cohort 3

Whether you are looking to enhance your resume or just want to pick up a new skill or two, we are excited to offer a third cohort of our popular Dare to Lead series of workshops, beginning on Sunday, November 15. These sessions are open to TAPS Survivors wanting to bring more courage to their workplace, home, community, or school. It is applicable for both formal and informal leaders (all of us), executives, visionaries, and healers across all spectrums.

Creating New Holiday Traditions - Webinar

Accessing a spirit of holiday cheer in the midst of grief can be challenging and many may feel compelled to skip the holidays altogether. Especially this year, when so many gatherings and travel may be limited, cultivating holiday traditions that honor your grief and promote connection with others can be very healing. Join the TAPS Institute to discuss creative ways to engage in the holidays in ways that meet you where you are in your grief journey. This Creating New Holiday Traditions webinar is free and will be held Thursday, November 19 from 12:00 to- 1:00 p.m. Eastern. 

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


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Choose TAPS as Your AmazonSmile Charity of Choice

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.