Saturday Morning Message: Inspirational Movies

Author: Carol Lane

Good morning,

Movie titles were shared this week that provided support for those who responded. Each responder shared how the movie helped in a special way on the grief journey. Since I wanted to make sure their thoughts were highlighted, a decision was made to place a link for each movie to IMDb for the summary, etc. If you want to know more about a movie, just click on the title and it will bring you to that IMDb page. Thanks to all who participated this week.

Survivor Seminar

There are two areas of the TAPS website that I would like to mention this week.The first is about Peer Mentors who are survivors who have experienced a similar loss.This page provides information on requesting a Peer Mentor and, if you are 18 months past your loss, how to become a Peer Mentor. Supporting another survivor can be very rewarding. If either activity interests you, go to Survivors Helping Survivors Heal.

There is a new area of the website you might find interesting. When you go to, you might see at the bottom of the page there is a rectangle that says “We’re Online Chat Now.”  If you click on that section, you can have a text chat with a TAPS staff member right away who is monitoring the page.This might be helpful if you want to chat with someone at a time when the regular chats aren’t scheduled and don’t need to contact a specific person. It is only there when someone is monitoring the chat.

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.

Carol Lane
Mother of Bryon


Question for Next Week’s Saturday Morning Message 

Marsha, mother of Patrick sent this week’s question. Marsha wrote, “Sometimes I'm cruising along when I'm suddenly blindsided by a riptide of grief. If I'm driving, I read the road signs out loud. If I'm sitting in a group, I tap the back of my hand.” Marsha’s question is: How do you get yourself through these moments?” We look forward to your responses. 

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. I encourage you to reply to the Saturday Morning Message by emailing In order to have your reply included in the next week’s message, it is best to send your answers to me by Tuesday morning of the following week.


♫ Song for the Week

Bonnie Jo, mother of Andrew and widow of Bob, sent the song this week which is The Way We Were sung by Barbra Streisand. Bonnie Jo wrote, “Who does not love Barbra Streisand, and this song fits so many of us.” She is so right.


Answers from Survivors

Responses from Survivors to last week’s question: Have you watched movies that helped with your grief or inspired an aspect of healing in your grief? Would you share a name of a movie and how it helped you?

From Lonnie, wife of Larry: My favorite movie that has helped me is Always, with Richard Dreyfuss, Holly Hunter, John Goodman and Audrey Hepburn. If you have already seen it, you will know why and if you haven’t, when you do see it, I believe you will understand how it helps.

From Cheryl, mother of Jack: A few movies I have watched that capture thoughts, actions  and aspects of grief are:

Collateral Beauty: We question what happened, why did it happen, why does it hurt so bad, what can make the hurt go away, and what is important. Things like this seem to be the main points of the movie. It really helped me.

We Bought A Zoo: This movie highlights the aspects of the family member being gone and the impact that it has on the family dynamics. I felt things like misguided advice from family and friends trying to tell you what you need are portrayed in this movie, which helped.

Signs:This movie is about an outer space invasion, but you can see how the death of the wife/mother has shaken this man and his family. It has challenged the father's faith, his belief system, and where he can put his trust. His family seems to float around not being able to feel family stability. Haven't we all been there.

From Sheryl, mother of Adam: I went to The Shack early in my grief journey. I really didn't know what it was about, except that it was Christian-themed. I almost walked out when I figured out it was about a family losing a child, but I stayed and cried through it. The message of forgiveness and that God mourns loss, too, touched me. The movie was another avenue to release a little pain.

From Debby, widow of Tom: One movie which has helped me work through my grief and reminds me that “love never dies” is an old movie from 1956 titled  Miracle in the Rain. It is the story of a WWII soldier and a young woman who meet and fall in love in New York City. They have  dreams and hopes for their future together, but sadly those dreams will never be fulfilled. 

To me, the movie  displayed the “fog of grief” and just getting through the day-to-day routines. It also reminded me of the importance of self care and the consequences if we don’t take care of ourselves. The scenes of how other people around her tried to interact with her during her grief was interesting. The movie allowed me to cry, but also reminded me that love never dies.

From Holly, wife of Darin: This was a very timely question! My kids are both out of town this week at different activities, so I had some almost unprecedented time to myself. One evening this week I felt like watching a movie and checked to see what might be on TV. I saw that P.S. I Love You was about to come on. I checked the info on the movie and saw that it was about a widow. When I started watching the movie, I realized the widow’s name was Holly (also my name). I identified with that widow in many ways, such as when her mom compared her own divorce from Holly’s father to Holly’s husband dying. Most widows I know have heard this comparison as well. They are not the same thing! Holly had a lot of support from family and friends, but also dealt with their judgment and opinions on what she ought to be doing or how she should be handling things. As imperfect and flawed as all the characters were, including Holly, they stuck together and did ultimately appreciate each other’s intentions and support.  

From Paula, mother of Drew: Soon after my son died, I watched Godless on Netflix. In one scene, the preacher quotes a poem titled ‘Tis a Fearful Thing. The opening sentence grabbed my heart: ‘‘’Tis a fearful thing to love what death can touch.” It was the first time I found words that could begin to explain why my heartache was so deep.

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.  

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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.