Saturday Morning Message: Fall Plans

Author: Carol Lane

Good Morning,

Last week we shared  the article “Making Summer Memories” by surviving spouse Elizabeth Culp. In the article, she wrote, “Planning provides something positive to focus thoughts and energy on.” I’m sharing here a photo of a hydrangea bush, my favorite. One of the reasons I like it is that it provides a focus in my yard and it will keep its flowers into the winter. Then in the spring, I must remove the flowers or it will not bloom the next year. It truly demands my energy for the whole year, but it is most spectacular in the fall.

Carols Garden

Now we are changing seasons once again as summer turns to fall. This will bring emotions that will vary from person to person. Sometimes being with other TAPS families can bring a welcome change. If you would like to plan a trip this fall to be with others who understand, visit Survivor Programs on the TAPS website to get  an idea about what is offered. Sometimes that is all that is needed to lift our spirits and give us a plan for the future.

In the Northeast, the leaves on the trees will soon begin to turn brilliant colors, so I plan to take a short trip to Maine in the middle of September. We used to go there earlier in the summer as a family, but the change is that we go to a different area and visit local spots as well as visit friends instead of going to amusement parks like we did when the kids were little. It is still warm enough there to walk the beach and enjoy the beauty as we travel the back roads to look at the foliage.

This week others shared their plans for a fall change in their lives. I know you will enjoy their responses.

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

Carol Lane
Mother of Bryon


Question for Next Week’s Saturday Morning Message 

A God wink at TAPS is a moment when you feel your loved one close to you. It can be just a moment or something can happen like hearing a song on the radio that was your loved one’s favorite. It could also be something out of the ordinary like a butterfly landing on you. So this week’s question is: Have you had a God wink that you would like to share with our group? We look forward to your answers. 

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 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

From Kelsey, mother of Michael: My son loved Japan and Japanese culture. He spoke some Japanese and listened to Japanese music. At his memorial service we played Sakura Rain. Sometimes I cry when I hear the song; other times I remember him fondly. 

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


Answers from Survivors

Responses from Survivors to last week’s question: What are your plans for fall activities that will provide you the most comfort?

From Wendy, wife of David: This is only our second fall. We are just over 18 months out from losing David. Last fall and holiday season was a nightmare for my boys and me. This season I am going to try to do a few different things. We are going to go a few hours north and pick apples during apple season. We picked fruit throughout the summer and we are going to attempt to can jam for Christmas gifts—could be a disaster—who knows. But we are going to try something different. We don't live near any family so David's absence is pretty palpable. We are going to try to do things with and for others and try to connect with the community we have in our lives.

From Merry, mother of Wesley: Wes really enjoyed and excelled at reading. I may just do something a little more public around that to honor and remember him. That would be something new. I really love the change of Aspen leaves here in Colorado and seeing snow on the mountain peaks for the first time as fall approaches. My new plans to do something different and enjoyable this year are to travel to the Crested Butte area to get away for a weekend at the end of September. Hopefully, the leaves will still be showing their color that late in the month. Getting into nature and getting away from a bigger city is extremely helpful to reset my outlook.

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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Women's Empowerment Programming

If you’re looking to connect with other surviving women, you may just find your sisterhood during our fall weekly Women’s Empowerment sessions! These sessions are open to all TAPS women wrestling with questions of identity and purpose after loss. You can join this safe, supportive online environment via webcam. Our weekly schedule offers sessions on Tuesday through Friday each week.

Central Regional Seminar 

Join us at the Central Regional Seminar on  November 13 to 15 for a time of sharing, hope, and healing. Our seminars are designed to meet you where you are and help you gain coping skills that will help you find meaning and purpose as you move forward on your grief journey. We are working to make arrangements for this event with safety in mind and look forward to being together again. Thanks to the generosity of our sponsors, TAPS provides all lodging, meals, materials, activities, and T-shirts at no cost to you.

Dare to Lead - Cohort 3

Whether you are looking to enhance your resume or just want to pick up a new skill or two, we are excited to offer a third cohort of our popular Dare to Lead series of workshops, beginning on Sunday, November 15. These sessions are open to TAPS Survivors wanting to bring more courage to their workplace, home, community, or school. It is applicable for both formal and informal leaders (all of us), executives, visionaries, and healers across all spectrums.

Creating New Holiday Traditions - Webinar

Accessing a spirit of holiday cheer in the midst of grief can be challenging and many may feel compelled to skip the holidays altogether. Especially this year, when so many gatherings and travel may be limited, cultivating holiday traditions that honor your grief and promote connection with others can be very healing. Join the TAPS Institute to discuss creative ways to engage in the holidays in ways that meet you where you are in your grief journey. This Creating New Holiday Traditions webinar is free and will be held Thursday, November 19 from 12:00 to- 1:00 p.m. Eastern. 

You can discover all the opportunities to connect with your TAPS family on our website at the TAPS Event Calendar.

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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.