Saturday Mornings Brightened by Sharing Memories
“Oh, thank you Carol! That means so much. I love writing and it has helped immensely in this grieving process. I love having this outlet to share about my life with Preston, it’s very healing! So thank you guys for allowing me.”
Carol Lane, TAPS Online Community and surviving mother of Marine Sergeant Bryon E. Lane
That’s what one survivor said about the Saturday Morning Message, the brainchild of Carol Lane, who lost her precious son, Marine Sergeant Bryon E. Lane in an aviation accident in 2001.
Carol, who is part of the Online Community team, connected with TAPS shortly after Bryon’s death, first as a volunteer and later as a member of the staff. From her own experience as a grieving mother, Carol recognized that weekends could be a particularly tough time for survivors, so she created the Saturday Morning Message as a way to lift spirits and to provide an outlet for sharing about loved ones lost.
Carol has rarely missed a Saturday Morning Message, even in 2019 when Edward, her husband of 45 years and a Navy veteran, died after a brief illness.
Each Saturday, Carol poses a new question to survivors and shares the responses from the previous week. In 2019, Carol worked with others on the TAPS staff to add the question to our social media channel so more survivors could join in the conversation.
Carol also manages the monthly TAPS Writers Circle, which provides survivors a creative outlet for their remembrances, essays, poetry, photography, and artwork. More than 800 survivors receive the Saturday Morning Message or Writers Circle by email and the Saturday message reaches thousands more through social media.
More From the Online Community
“I was in the chat room last Thursday with other survivors and I walked away thinking, ‘"I can do this!’ I'm gonna make it. Everyone just helped so much.”
Kim Suggs, TAPS Online Community and surviving spouse of Army Chief Warrant Officer 4 Milton E. Suggs
The TAPS Online Community provides comfort and compassion across the miles, connecting survivors from the comfort of home, wherever that is in the country or the world.
This community welcomes everyone, with a variety of peer groups, message boards and live text and video chats. Every survivor can share at their comfort level — or just read about and listen to how others are coping and growing during their grief journeys. All engagements are facilitated and monitored by a caring member of the TAPS staff.
In 2019, the Online Community hosted 12 peer group sites, 108 text chat sessions, 51 video chat sessions, and addressed dozens of topics through message boards. Many chats were open to all survivors registered with the Online Community and others were facilitated for a particular audience, including survivors of suicide loss, survivors of illness loss, women only, men only, parents, siblings, and spouses and significant others. TAPS looks forward to welcoming new participants in 2020.