Saturday Morning Message: The Difference TAPS Has Made

Author: Carol Lane

Good morning,

The opening picture this week is of some of the participants in the Marine Corps Marathon. I am using it since my daughter ran/walked for TAPS on Oct. 22, and I went to support her. I am so proud of those who took part and also those of us who stayed on the sidelines encouraging them. Staying in the hotel where most of the TAPS participants stayed was something that I wouldn’t have done without my relationship with TAPS. I talked to many people who were staying at the hotel and told them about the mission of TAPS and several of them contributed to our organization. Although I have always been outgoing, attending events in which TAPS participates has given me the chance to talk with others from all over our country, and that is special for me. Each time I go, I learn something from others and also about myself.

Team TAPS Runner at a Race

This past weekend I learned which electronic device I need to take with me in order for the Saturday Morning Message to go out to everyone. As some of you know, I did not take the right one last weekend, and some of you did not receive last week’s message. Please know that I am so sorry. So this week, I am going to use the same question to give everyone a chance to respond.

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.

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 emailing online@taps.org.  I directly receive all responses that are sent to this address. In order to have your reply included in the week’s Saturday Morning Message, it is best to send them to me by Tuesday of the following week. This week's question is located below my signature. Thank you to everyone responding this week and those who read this message.

One suggestion a survivor had was to include a song of the week, which is now a weekly section. 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. One of our contributors, Andy, father of Danny, makes a playlist on Spotify of the songs that appear in the Saturday Morning Messages along with a few other songs special to him. You can sign up for Spotify for free to listen to the playlist.The playlist is called “Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors Songs of Love and Remembrance.” I often listen to it and think of our TAPS family while I am on the computer.

Hugs,
Carol

Question for Next Week’s Saturday Morning Message

The question this week is the one from Ellen, fiance of Davidwho wrote, “People, places and events can affect how we view the world. They can inspire us to participate in activities that we might not have otherwise, take up a new hobby, or uncover a hidden strength or talent. Our paths bring us in touch with others who leave their mark on our lives forever.” So the question this week is: How is your life different because you have been able to connect with others through TAPS?

Song for the Week

Patricia, mother of Kyle, sent the song this week as Oct. 31 will be Kyle’s sixth angelversary. The song is “The Arms of the Angel” by Sarah McLachlan. Hugs to the whole family and friends of Kyle.

Answers from Survivors

From Michele, mother of Stephen: I didn't connect with TAPS right away after my son’s passing. For me, I thought I could handle everything on my own. When I finally opened up to TAPS, I found it was the best thing I could do for myself to find out I was not alone in my pain. I could express my feelings and found out I was so normal with my feelings going through my grief. It was my comfortable place to be. Through the next several years after losing my son, TAPS has helped me understand that I will always grieve my loved one, but it has taught me that it is okay to laugh and smile again. This journey we are on is not an easy one trying to find a new normal, but with the help from TAPS and others I have met, it has helped the journey be more tolerable. I have gone back to golfing with the league I was on before my son died. Feeling comfortable to meet up with friends for lunch. Have been able to do the Fallen Soldier run at Ft. Bliss to honor my son and know he would be so proud of me that I am doing these things. It has not been an easy journey, but with the help of our TAPS family, has helped me make the changes in my life that I would have never thought possible.


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

This Summer, Youth Programs is hosting TAPS Good Grief and Family Camp at Home through August 28. Each week, there are activities and challenges you can complete individually and as a family. Missed a week? No problem - all activities and challenges from previous weeks are available online. Join us for opportunities for you and the kids to connect to mentors and other families through Zoom sessions.

Make plans to join us for our next Virtual Military Survivor Seminar, August 21 and 22. We have new, dynamic sessions available throughout the weekend at no cost, with all of the resources, care and love we can offer, coming to you in the comfort of your home. We'll also have Share Groups, our facilitated support groups, where you can meet other survivors with similar loss experience. We look forward to seeing you online soon!

Save the date! Please join us for the Military Survivor New to Grief Seminar, once per week from September 3 to 24. Together we will work toward two primary goals. First, we will grow deeper understandings as we deconstruct myths about grief, explore the cognitive and physical impacts of grief, and seek to establish a helpful language around our own experiences. Second, we will establish community among our peers so that we have others who have a strong desire to accompany us as we continue navigating the ups and downs of our loss and grief.

pencil icon

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 before August 18th, 2020, 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.

Have you lost your job, or have reduced work hours? Or are otherwise affected by COVID-19? 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. Tell us more.

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.