Saturday Morning Message: Personal Changes

Author: Carol Lane

Good Morning,

For many, the scenery around us is changing. This picture is of fall foliage in Utah is for Allica, daughter of Burr,  who lives in Utah. I asked her to send pictures of the mountains as the trees change into their fall colors for this Saturday Morning Message topic. It is overwhelming to see the beauty of our country.

Utah Country Side

After the beauty of the fall, in many areas, the cold and grayness of winter comes. The seasonal changes of the Earth are similar to the emotions survivors feel after the death of a loved one. We change as we travel through our personal journey. The responses this week show that journey very well. It takes courage to write about the emotions we feel and to share them with the readers of this message. Karl revealed this week his ceaseless effort to create a memorial for his son. He also gave advice to other survivors who might want to do the same. Remember, whenever you feel down, spring will always come and TAPS is here to support you 24/7. You are never alone.

Would you like to share a question or read how other survivors respond to a topic or question you have? I would love to gather some thoughts for future Saturday Morning Messages. You can also submit favorite songs that are meaningful to you. It can be helpful to read and hear how others cope. If you would like to send a message thanking one or all of those who wrote this week, send it to me and I will make sure your thoughts are passed along to them. 

We 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 emailing In order to have your reply included in the Saturday Morning Message, it is best to send them to me by Tuesday of the following week. Next week's question is located below my signature. Thank you to everyone responding this week and those who read this message. 


Question for Next Week's Saturday Morning Message 

Keeping with the topic of change, let's share some of the things we have done to "pay it forward." How have you helped others newer in their journey of grief?  We look forward to your replies as you give ideas on how others may help newer survivors. 

 Song for the Week 

Eunah, mother of Eben,  sent two songs that remind her of her son. Eunah wrote, "Eben's high school graduation song was 'Wake Me Up' by Avicii. After he left for boot camp, this song took me to him whenever it played on the air. The second song is 'Danger Zone' by Kenny Loggins.  'Top Gun' was one of Eben's favorite movies. We played the song at his memorial service at Camp Pendleton and also at the funeral at home." 

Answers from Survivors 

From Leslie, mother of Eugene:  On the outside I put on a good face. I try to be strong for my surviving son and my dad. On the inside I have good days and not-so-good days. I stay in when I am inconsolable. I keep busy with things I like to do. I have grandkids to keep me from thinking. So, people don't notice a change. Yes, I have changed. I am more cautious, more loving, more generous and more moody. I hurt.

From Karl, father of Tre:  About four years ago, I contacted my district's state representative via email about memorial signs. He contacted me back and said he would work on it. It is literally an act of state congress to get the signs on the interstate. You can learn about it in the news video "Veteran Honored." However, it might be easier to contact your county commissioners and get a name on a local county road or bridge. The key is persistence. 

From Donna, mother of Eric:  In every way, I have changed. I used to be the patient teacher that took all the troublesome kids, took them under my wing and showed them through love and patience how to be successful. I have no patience for that behavior anymore. My thoughts are so jumbled, I just can't do that anymore.

I used to be the friend that you would want to have. I found fun or interesting things for us to do. I never backed out of plans. I was quick-witted and made everyone feel comfortable. I know I have true friends that love and support me because I'm not that friend anymore. I cancel my plans all the time and offer little support anymore. Thankfully, my dear ladies continue to try to get me out of the house and do something, anything.

I used to be the wife that always cooked and cleaned. I made treats for my husband to take to work. I wrote notes and put them in his lunch. I made sure he felt loved and appreciated. Now,  it seems I'm just wandering aimlessly through life. Thankfully, my husband is very supportive and understanding and has put his grieving on the back burner to help me trudge through mine.  It is not who I used to be at all.  

I keep thinking I'll get myself together soon and be a good wife and friend again. This has been a hard several months for me, and I'm not sure why. I'm kind of wallowing in self-pity right now.  Give me a while, and I'll be my new normal again.  

To sum it up in one sentence: Every single thing about me has changed, every single thing.


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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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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.

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.

Set Sail with Your TAPS Family! 

This summer, sail with your TAPS Family on the TAPS Alaska Cruise from July 30 to August 10, 2021, through the inside passage to Alaska onboard Royal Caribbean's Radiance of the Seas! While onboard, TAPS will have a variety of programs and activities available for you and we will gather each evening for a TAPS Family dinner. And to give you peace of mind, Royal Caribbean has extended their “Cruise with Confidence” program through the end of November. Anyone who books a cabin under that program will be able to cancel up to 48 hours before sailing (for any reason) and receive 100% future credit.

A Breath of Fresh Air

We want to help you reconnect with nature in simple, yet meaningful ways with monthly themes and weekly activities you can do anywhere. Join us as we navigate the wilds of our natural world and the wilds of your grief. You will have access to downloadable content, videos, and articles each week and a family campfire at the end of each month! Find nature where you live, whether it be in your community or your own backyard. Join in our activities and snap a photo to share with us. Let's join together for a Breath of Fresh Air!

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

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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.