Saturday Morning Message: Sharing Memories

Author: Carol Lane

Good morning,

The picture this week comes from the 2017 Annual National Military Survivor Seminar and Good Grief Camp. Each attendee was asked to provide a picture of his/her loved one for the board decked with trees. Then when we met by the board, we could point out our loved one’s picture and perhaps share a memory. I thought this would be an appropriate picture to use in a Saturday Morning Message where we introduced our loved ones to each other. Enjoy reading the responses to this week's question.


Survivor at National Seminar in DC

Question for Next Week’s Saturday Morning Message 

On one of the Tuesday online chats, the discussion centered around what we do to help alleviate our grief. The discussion became lively and it  came to me that this would be a great question for the Saturday Morning Message, so after consulting with a few of those who attended the chat, the question for this week is: Do you have a craft or activity you like to do to help with your grief journey?

Song for the Week

Cheryl, mother of Jack, contributed the song this week. She wrote: "The song There Will Be a Day by Jeremy Camp offers me comfort in the hope that I will not always feel the pain and suffering of missing Jack. That one day not only will I see him, I will forget the pain. It will be gone."

Answers from Survivors

Last week's question: What is a memory of your loved one you would like to share for all to enjoy?

From Bruce, father of Brian: Brian and his friends had a band when they were in high school. They played "screamo" music which is a metal style with loud, screaming lyrics. They managed to play a few times in clubs around town. Watching them play were the most painful yet enjoyable times.

From Bonnie Jo, mother of Andrew: When my twins were little, around 4 years old, I made them a chore list, two sets of lunch paper bags that we hung on the wall in the kitchen. The idea was this: Each bag was labeled TO DO or DONE. Inside I drew on index cards the chores for the day, with the words on top to begin to associate spelling with the task. On the back of each card was the amount they could earn that day by completing the chore. At the end of each day we looked at the cards in the DONE bag and counted out the money they had earned. The idea was simple: you earn half of what you need to buy the toy you want and I put in the rest. Andrew, of course, always was saving for his G.I. Joes. I should have seen that reality coming. Lisa saved for her Barbies or My Little Ponies.

We took the kids to an Easter Egg hunt and Andy won the big prize — he found the gold egg. None of us knew what that meant, but inside was a five dollar bill. A big deal in the day for sure. All the kids got lots of candy, too, but he won the top prize. He told us that he only wanted half of it and the other half should go to Lisa. That was my Andy. He got his G.I. Joe and Lisa got her Barbie the next week.

I miss and loved his generosity, but that was just who he was.

From Lonnie, wife of Larry: My husband was a prankster and he always said I was “easy” (as in easy to pull a joke on or get riled up). I remember one night after dinner he was serving our ice cream. I always eat my small helping with a particular spoon (a baby spoon, if you must thought being smaller bites make it last longer). As I went to pick up my spoon and have my first bite of ice cream, I looked down and saw that it was a fork! I just looked over at him and laughed. He was forever pulling “a funny” on me. I really miss that.

From Essie, mother of Tysheena: Tysheena was a comical young lady. She always would peek in our bedroom door and smile. Then she would come and jump between the both of us and just lay there until her dad would get up. She used to fiddle with his ears or his head. Then he would turn around and tickle her. So special! I often think of all the crazy things we've done, and smile.

From Leslie, mother of Eugene: I returned from work and went upstairs to see my teenage son in his typically messy room. We were chatting and I noticed a couple of small bags on his floor moving. I inquire as to the moving bags and my darling son tells me that I am tired and should rest. I tell him that I couldn’t be that tired and he needs to start talking before I stomp on the moving bags. So, I get the ‘calm down, Mom,’ warning as he opens the bags with the boa, a python and a king snake. Being the mom I was, I told him he better have tanks, make them comfortable, have a screen over the tanks to make sure none escape, and I left his room. Yes, he was in shock. Oh, how I miss that glint in his eyes.

From Sheryl, mother of Adam: It is so hard to single out one. A favorite memory of my son, Adam, is with his son and uncle. Uncle Jeff is holding up 3-year-old Allen while Adam puts on Allen's pants. Adam was a devoted father and was like a son to his uncle. We all had so much fun together. 

Jeff and Uncle dressing Jeff's son

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 I directly receive all responses that are sent to this address. In addition to replies that are placed in the message, I also look for thoughts you have. You can write to me anytime just to communicate or if you have thoughts on what could make the Saturday Morning Message more helpful. Replies to the weekly question are best sent to me by Tuesday afternoon. You are an important part of this message, and I look forward to your questions or any ideas you may have.


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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.