Saturday Morning Message: Showing Love to Those Around Us
Author: Carol Lane
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 email@example.com. 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 firstname.lastname@example.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 email@example.com and I will make sure your thoughts are passed along to them.