Saturday Morning Message: Self Care Ideas
Author: Carol Lane
We are on a break and republishing the responses from one of our favorite topics, self-care. We’ll be back next week with the replies to Cheryl’s question.
Self-care is something that is often overlooked when we are grieving, so I think it is a good idea to post an article about it every so often. The responses this week come from the TAPS Saturday Morning Message archives. They represent a variety of ways others have found to practice self-care.
The Saturday Morning Message will be posted as usual to those who signed up to receive it. The responses may also be used in other TAPS publications. Remember that 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 email@example.com.
Mother of Bryon
Question for Next Week’s Saturday Morning Message
The next question comes from Cheryl, mother of Jack who asks: 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? The movie doesn’t have to be one you saw at a cinema. It can be one you watched on TV or streamed through another device. The answers to this question will be posted in the July 28 Saturday Morning Message.
We can honor our loved ones by communicating with each other through writing. You never know how your words may touch the heart of another. You can also submit favorite songs that are meaningful to you. I encourage you to reply to the Saturday Morning Message by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. I directly receive all responses that are sent to this address. Thank you to everyone responding this week and those who read this message.
♫ Song for the Week
Kim, wife of Milton sent the song this week, which is Something You Get Through written by Buddy Cannon and Willie Nelson. Kim thought it would be appropriate for all of us. Several sources write that Buddy Cannon overheard Willie Nelson talking to a friend who had lost someone very close to her about not getting over a loss but getting through it. Willie Nelson has a real feel for the grieving and I am sure he has been there as well just by hearing him sing this song.
You can send favorite songs for the song of the week section to email@example.com. I directly receive all responses that are sent to this address.
Answers from Survivors
Responses from Survivors to last week’s question: What have you done to take care of yourself?
From Ashley, surviving sister of Michael: Taking care of ourselves is usually the last thing we do when we are grieving the loss of our precious loved one. However, in the midst of grief, it is so important we take the time to care for ourselves. Sometimes getting out of bed and facing the day ahead is a huge challenge. It is important to start small...one step in front of the other. For me, I found taking walks and getting some fresh air outside were helpful, especially early on. My parents and I have done run/walk events in honor of my brother. We are hoping to do events with our TAPS Run and Remember Team in the future.
From Leslie, mother of Eugene: What have I done for myself lately? I am the luckiest person to be married to the greatest guy. Right now I am in Florida where I closed on a place. We are going to be snowbirds. No more frigid winters! I am getting things together to make it a home so when we come down in November, we can enjoy ourselves. My son must be chuckling in heaven!
From Don, father of Joshua: After receiving a lot of professional counseling to support me in my darkest days, I was able to find ways to feel connected to my son. For my 50th birthday, he bought me a gift that I have wanted for many years, but never spent the money on myself. He came home from his second deployment and said “Dad, I want to buy you that kayak you've been wanting all these years for your birthday.” I take that kayak out on the water and feel his presence with me. It is very comforting to me to feel his spirit. His favorite food was Chesapeake Bay Crabs and whenever we are celebrating his birthday or an important day we will have crabs in his honor. I have found comfort in remembering his life and not focusing as much attention on how he died. I found the people I met at TAPS offered me hope and inspired me to face my grief in order to deal with it better.
From Merry, mother of Wesley:
Self-care for me is:
Dialogue and prayer with the Holy Trinity.
Gardening, which I love. It keeps me grounded in an activity I began as a 5-year-old.
Getting a one-hour massage at my favorite spa, or a 20-minute massage at the local health food store.
Driving to the mountains.
From Kim, wife of Milton: Milton's death really took a toll on me. What helped me in the beginning of my grief journey was writing in a journal. I could sit and write, cry, and put all of my feelings on paper. No one could tell me my feelings were right or wrong or not proper. They were my true feelings and only for me to read. I could be honest and open and release those feelings. I also joined a 24-hour gym. I would walk on the treadmill for periods of time and meditate. Since I was sleeping so very little, most of my time at the gym was in the very early morning and I was alone with my thoughts and the treadmill. I no longer journal, but I do still keep up with my exercise routine and am very involved with many activities within my town that keep me busy. For me, keeping busy is the key.
From Mary-Ann, mother of Blake: Well, we just got back from a "get out of Dodge" long weekend. It seems, at times, things start to pile up on us emotionally. This has been the case for both my husband and me lately. When that happens, as soon as it is possible, we get out of town for a while. We did so this past week for a few days just to get away to relax where no one knows us who would be asking questions about the past, bringing up painful memories we're trying to put behind us, as best as possible. It doesn't always come when we can easily handle them. At those times, we've found that we just need to remove ourselves from the questioning people! By doing so it gives us time to get some fresh air, so to speak, then come back home more able and ready to face the world again.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org and I will make sure your thoughts are passed along to them.