Saturday Morning Message: When We Feel Overwhelmed

Author: Carol Lane

Good morning,

Early in grief, everything seems to come upon us at once. Arrangements need to be made, paperwork completed, relatives and friends contacted, and your grief addressed. It is easy to find ourselves overwhelmed by the number of tasks. Then those who kindly want to host a ceremony to honor our loved ones send us invitations. We want to attend all of them, but sometimes we can’t. I know that my family was invited to one event which we didn’t attend, because it was too far to travel when we had relatives coming in from different parts of the country and didn’t want to leave them.

Men Survivors looking out over a lake

Grief itself brings on stress. Then there are all the plans that need to be made which leaves us feeling overwhelmed. One way to help is to watch Relaxation Meditation To Ease The Anxiety, Stress And Tension Of Grief which is an hour-long video presented by TAPS Advisory Board Member Heather Stang. In it, she presents ways relax to which may be helpful to you. Grief is hard work and sometimes we need to take some time for ourselves, so we can decide what we can and can’t do. Sometimes the best thing to do is go to a relaxing place with a good friend and accept a hug, and that is why I chose it for this week’s opening picture. Remember, with TAPS you are never alone.

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

Carol Lane
Mother of Bryon


Answers from Survivors

Responses from Survivors to the question: Have you ever felt overwhelmed by the number or scope of rituals honoring your loved one?

From Bonnie Jo, mother of Andrew: My son was a Special Forces Green Beret, an 18th Delta Medic, so some of the events honoring him went on all over this country and others. His goal was to become a doctor at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center and he would have been a great one.

Overwhelmed by the number of honors for our son, Andrew, is an understatement for sure. First of all, who ever thought this would happen? Then when it did, the grief and mourning were so present that I surely could not handle any more.

It was quite hard and a challenge to keep up with it. Bob, my husband, and I tried our best to attend all of the memorial events, but eventually got to the point of having to decide which ones to attend.

I can no longer attend some of the events held for Andy as I hardly drive, but support the ones I can. I believe we all have a responsibility to honor and share our stories about our loved ones. The rewards for doing that are enormous. Also the stories we hear from others make us recognize how we all are the same with just different situations. I am thankful for TAPS and my ability to mentor others as they go through some tough times.

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.


Question for Next Week’s Saturday Morning Message

The question this week came from a TAPS webinar. We all have special spots where we feel memories of our loved ones surface. Let’s share some of them with those who read this message, so the question is: What is a time or place that you feel close to your loved one? We look forward to your responses. 

I am always looking for questions for future Saturday Morning Messages. It can be helpful to read how others cope. I encourage you to reply to this week’s messageby emailing which will come directly to me. In order to have your reply included in the next week’s message, it is best to send your answers 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’s song comes from me, Carol, mother of Bryon. I was watching a TV show celebrating 60 years of Motown. When Stevie Wonder came on to sing “I Never Dreamed You'd Leave in Summer” for those who helped start the great Motown Record Corporation and have died, it touched my heart and I knew I had to share it with those who read the Saturday Morning Message. 

A survivor once suggested we include a song of the week, which has now become a weekly feature. If you have a song that is special to you or reminds you of your loved one, please send it to me at along with a sentence or two about what makes this song meaningful to you. One of our contributors, Andy, father of Danny, makes a free playlist available to you on Spotify of the songs that appear in the Saturday Morning Messages along with a few other songs special to him. The playlist is called TAPS (Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors) Songs of Love and Remembrance.

If you have a favorite song for this section, send it to me at


chat icon

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

calendar icon

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.

pencil icon

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.

shopping cart icon

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.