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


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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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Breath of Fresh Air With TAPS Outdoors - Season 2

The Breath of Fresh Air series, presented by TAPS Outdoors, is for everyone and requires no previous outdoor experience! With bi-weekly videos and Campfire Chats, we'll help you find the right tips, tools and tricks to navigate the wilds of our natural world and the wilds of your grief.

In Season 2: Sowing Seeds, we will utilize the skills we developed over winter to plant seeds of hope for the flourishing summer ahead. Spring is the season of new beginnings, and we look forward to preparing the ground, planting seeds and growing with you in the journey to blooms. The official launch date is Wednesday, March 3.

Free Webinars Presented by the TAPS Institute for Hope and Healing®

Gain valuable information and coping strategies through the TAPS Institute for Hope and Healing. In February, you have two opportunities to participate in free online sessions. 

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

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Tips And Resources To Help You Navigate All Stages Of An Emergency

Our hearts are with our TAPS Families impacted by recent winter weather. You are not alone. You've got this! And we've got you! We are always available to provide compassionate care to our military survivors in any circumstance. We also want to lessen the added stress you may be experiencing due to such emergencies. If you are in need of support, due to a natural disaster, contact our Casework Team at 202-588-TAPS (8277) or via email at for information on available aid and supportive resources as well as read our TAPS Natural Disaster Response article.

We're All In This Together

COVID-19 Support and Resources

At TAPS, we’re no stranger to challenging times, and we’re all doing our part to support one another and get through these difficult times together. As always, TAPS is here 24/7, and our team is working hard to provide resources, services and support to surviving military families as they navigate the challenges of COVID-19. For more information or questions, visit our COVID-19 Response and Resources page or please email us at

Choose TAPS as Your AmazonSmile Charity of Choice

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 202-588-8277.