Saturday Morning Message: Feeling close to our loved ones across time and space

Author: Carol Lane

Good morning,

Since this week two responders wrote about feeling close to their loved one through music, I thought opening with a picture showing musical notes with hearts might be a good way to connect and remind us of how music speaks to the love we feel for our loved ones.

music notes and hearts

In addition to those who responded, I wanted to share a recent time when I felt close to my son and husband. It was last weekend when I went to a community supper. I could feel the warm hugs surrounding me. It always amazes me when that happens.

I also want to wish a Happy Mother’s Day to all the mothers who read this message. Perhaps this Sunday you can go somewhere that connects you to your loved one and feel the presence.

Remember, you can write to me anytime — to contribute, subscribe 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 online@taps.org.I hope you enjoy today’s Saturday Morning Message.

Hugs,
Carol Lane
Mother of Bryon

 

Answers from Survivors

Responses from Survivors to the question: What is a time or place that you feel close to your loved one?

From Beth, ex-wife of Thomas: My former spouse, Tom, who was a former Marine Reserves staff sergeant, loved going to a shooting range, scuba diving and visiting air museums. I have relocated to another part of the state, but whenever I drive by a shooting range, air museum, or see an ad for scuba certification, I think about how he would have loved to see those new places and the wonderful memories that we had doing those things.

From Tabitha, wife of Michael: My husband was a musician. He took such pride from his playing. I was in awe of skills. He played a lot of music video games like Rock Band. He made videos online in the hundreds and was well liked. Now, whenever I hear a mean guitar solo, I feel so close to him. Like he's playing it right there for me.

From Samira, mother of Andres: I incorporate memories from my son, Andres, every day of my life. I have everything from his belongings. I sleep with one of his pillows. I go to his room and I feel his presence. I go to the Disney theme parks and enjoy being there. Sometimes I cry. I go everywhere I went with Andres. This is the only way I have survived.

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 online@taps.org and I will make sure your thoughts are passed along to them.

 

Question for Next Week’s Saturday Morning Message

There are many events TAPS plans for survivors. Your response to this week’s question may help some survivors decide if they would like to join one. So the question is: What TAPS seminar or retreat have you attended and what did you like best about it? We look forward to your responses. 

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. I encourage you to reply to the Saturday Morning Message by emailing online@taps.org. I directly receive all responses that are sent to this address. In order to have your reply included in the week’s Saturday Morning Message, it is best to send it to me by Tuesday morning of the following week. Thank you to everyone responding this week and those who read this message.

 

♫ Song for the Week

This week Leslie, mother of Eugene, sent a combination of a response and a song, so I thought her thoughts were perfect for this section. She wrote about playing piano at a concert at which she felt her son’s and dad’s presence. Leslie wrote, “I feel especially close to my son when I perform. I feel he is listening from the audience. I feel his smile and support. I performed today as a celebration of my dad’s (US Navy Seabee) life. I performed solo piano, duets and two piano works with friends. It was wonderful. My dad and my son were very close. I felt them there.” Liszt’s  Sonetto del Petrarca 104 is one of the songs she played. There isn’t a video of Leslie playing, so the link shows classical pianist and composer Vladimir Horowitz performing.

You can send me favorite songs for this song of the week section at online@taps.org.


UPCOMING VIDEO AND TEXT CHATS

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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 illnessloss@taps.org.

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 smile.amazon.com, 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 online@taps.org.

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.