Saturday Morning Message: Showing Love to Those Around Us

Author: Carol Lane

Good Morning,

Beth, former spouse of Thomas, wrote last week about the ornament she is making symbolizing hope. I thought it would be a good picture to use for the beginning of this message since we all need to have hope in our lives. We sometimes forget to let others know that we still care for them while we are grieving. Just the simple act of a hug or listening closely while they tell us what they are doing can be heartwarming to close family members and friends. Then they will know that we can lean on each other when we go through this season with its difficult moments. Survivors shared some great ideas on how they show that they care.

Beth's Ornament with word Hope

There are a couple of articles from the TAPS blog that might be helpful both for you and those who are close to you. The first is titled “4 Ways to Find the Light This Holiday Season” by Zaneta Gileno, LMSW, CT. In it, she lists several ways to help reduce isolation during this season. If you find music helpful, read “A Holiday Playlist to Remember Your Loved One” by Allison Gilbert. She lists some of her favorite songs and also cites the playlist that Andy Weiss puts together from the Saturday Morning Message Songs for the Week. To listen to this playlist, go to Spotify, sign up for an account and install the app. Then search for the playlist TAPS (Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors) Songs of Love and Remembrance

If you find you would like to pick up a book, Cheryl Kreutter, Ph.D., reviews Gary Roe’s “Surviving the Holidays Without You,” which discusses tools that may help all those grieving. 

Enjoy this week’s message. 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 online@taps.org.

Hugs,
Carol Lane
Mother of Bryon

 

Question for Next Week’s Saturday Morning Message 

This time of year, we are bombarded with advertisements to buy something, but the greatest gifts we have comes from our personal strengths. Some of us have the ability to make others laugh, hold others when they are sad, or just be there to lighten someone’s day. I thought this would be a good topic for this holiday season, so the question this week is: What was one gift your loved one gave to the family just by being themselves? We look forward to your responses. 

Questions are the backbone of the Saturday Morning Message. In order to keep the Saturday Morning Message fresh, I am 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 online@taps.org. I directly receive all responses that are sent to this address. Replies to the weekly question are best sent to me by Tuesday morning. You are an important part of this message, and I look forward to your questions or any ideas you may have.

 

♫ Song for the Week

Deidra, mother of Jalen, wrote, “My 20-year-old son Jalen was in the Navy. He was killed in an automobile accident on his way back to base in Virginia. One of his favorite songs was “Blackbird” by The Beatles. He was learning to play it on guitar when he passed. Now it has become one of my favorite songs.” 

You can send me favorite songs for this song of the week section at online@taps.org. I directly receive all responses that are sent to this address.

 

Answers from Survivors

Responses from Survivors to last week’s question: How do you let others close to you know you still love them while you are grieving?

From Sheryl, mother of Adam: I have always been the one in the family to say, "Love you." Now I am even more purposeful to let family, friends and acquaintances know that they are appreciated. That takes the form of texts, emails, phone calls and cards. At a store, I try to use the clerk's name when I thank them for their assistance. It's the small, personal acts that have the most impact.

From Sandra, mother of Josh: I let others close to me know that I still love them by telling them, "I love you" and giving them hugs. I might take my family out to eat at their favorite restaurant. What-a-Burger, the Outback and Casarez are favorites for my husband and me. My son loves Taco Bell and my grandkids love McDonalds or the Golden Corral. We are all foodies. I ask my youngest son and grandkids how they are feeling about Josh. I usually do not get much of an answer, but I do not push it. I buy my grandkids donuts and orange juice like their daddy used to do. I take my little sweetie pies to the playground that their daddy used to take them to on a sunny day.

On the other hand, it is more difficult to show how much I love my sisters and brother, because my siblings all live far away. It is very difficult to express how I feel over the phone, but just keeping in touch on a group text can really show that I care. My baby brother is the one who usually initiates the group text, but I participate in the text chat because I want to keep in touch and let my siblings know that they matter to me. I always think about sending them little presents, but I never do it. It is difficult to give to others when you are grieving. It is easy to forget that they are grieving, too, because they might be putting up a front like I do. Grief can be overwhelming and consuming, but I must remember to reach out and let my family know that I love them.

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 online@taps.org and I will make sure your thoughts are passed along to them.


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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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 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.

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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.