Saturday Morning Message: Getting Through Tough Moments

Author: Carol Lane

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Good morning,

Last week’s question asked what others do when a grief wave takes over suddenly. This picture is the necklace I wear every day. Inside the locket is one of Bryon’s boot camp pictures. When I feel that wave coming over me, I gently touch that locket and remind myself to breathe since I tend to hold my breath when I feel that emotion. There were various responses this week. Some involved staying in place and doing something and others talked about getting up and walking away. It depends on the circumstances and how strong each moment is.

Remember, you can write to me anytime just to communicate or if you have thoughts on what could make the Saturday Morning Message more helpful. I look forward to hearing from you. My email address is I directly receive all responses that are sent to this address. Thank you to everyone responding this week and those who read this message. Together we become stronger.

Carol Lane
Mother of Bryon


Question for Next Week’s Saturday Morning Message 

Betty, mother of Michael sent the question this week. Betty wrote, “I have found that sometimes even just reading a novel, there will be a line uttered by one of the characters that I find profound and applicable to my current circumstances. I usually write those down in a notebook that I keep for such things.” So her question is: Has there been a book, or a line in a book, that has helped you on your grief journey? We look forward to your answers. 

The Saturday Morning Message was created so survivors can share questions and read how others respond. I am always looking for questions for future messages. You never know how your words may touch the heart of another. In order to have your reply included in the next week’s Saturday Morning Message, it is best to send your response to me by Tuesday morning of the following week.


♫ Song for the Week

Paula, mother of Drew, sent the song for this week that was shared by her daughter, Valerie, titled One More Light by Linkin Park. Paula listens to it often. I am sure it will be meaningful to you as well. 

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.


Answers from Survivors

Responses from Survivors to last week’s question: When you are blindsided by a riptide of grief, how do you get yourself through these tough moments?

From Leslie, mother of Stephen: I find myself wringing my hands; specifically the ring on my finger that reads "Invictus." This was a favorite poem of my family that our son also loved and was read at his funeral. When I find myself doing this I recite the poem softly to myself.

From Caryn, mother of Nathan: It’s amazing how your emotions can change so rapidly, so unexpectedly, and still so often. I know of no quick fix, but for me I have to just go with the feeling. Then, I take as many deep breaths as I need. Finally, I think of a happy memory and remind myself there were more happy times than bad times. I carry notebooks with me everywhere, so I can jot down anything I need to. Writing is my saving grace! And I remind myself it's OK to feel whatever I'm feeling – no guidelines, no rules!

From Mary-Ann, mother of Blake: I think you never 100 percent get over those times when grief takes over. You just learn to handle it better as time goes on. Fortunately, they seem to hit with less frequency and less severe pain with the progression of time as well. We still have our "Blake days" when we just wake up missing him ever so much. It hurts terribly. Not a day goes by where we don't think of him, get somewhat choked up and/or misty-eyed, but the length of these spells seems to be shortening ever so slowly. Hopefully they will for you as well. 

From Merry, mother of Wesley: Tears happen often during my day and my week. I will be driving somewhere and recognize a place that brings up a memory of my good times with Wes. This past week, it was the local Dairy Queen and Qdoba Mexican Restaurant. Every time I pass those, I remember a good time and I start to cry. Working through - I let myself cry, try not to ask, "Why is my life like this? Wasn't I doing my best as a parent?” You know, the 20 questions we can ask ourselves everyday. I let the feelings work themselves out and try not to beat myself up mentally and then move on. I cannot change anything. It is what it is. I miss Wes, love him, and wish he were still with us. 

From Diane, mother of Caleb: When I'm hit with the two-by-four of grief, I've learned to just go with it. Ride the wave of grief. It reminds me of the deep love, the deep loss in my life. It's part of this journey. I can live with that. It does hurt, and sometimes the hole is so huge, it's hard to breathe. But, the sun comes out again, and we make it through another day. If I need to cry, I do. If I need a walk, I walk. If I need to rest, I rest. Sometimes I don't know what to do, and that's OK, too. It's a tough journey. 

If you would like to send a message thanking one or all of those who participated in this week’s Saturday Morning Message, send it to me at and I will make sure your thoughts are passed along to them.


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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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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.

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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

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.

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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.