Saturday Morning Message: Marking Special Days

Author: Carol Lane

Good morning,

As the November and December holidays come along, I thought I would share this article from the fall TAPS Magazine that made me think of the family we have become. In the article, "The Critical Importance of Seeking Support", the author, Alan Wolfelt, lists his observations of Canadian geese as they fly many miles to their winter destination. Then he relates his thoughts to how an organization like TAPS can help us on our grief journey by supporting each other. Like the geese we should not try to maneuver this path alone, we move better when we’re together.

Geese in formation | Unsplash.comPhoto:

The Saturday Morning Message is one way we have to gain support from others who are on a similar journey. By sending responses to the question of the week, we share with others how we cope. Then readers can choose what might work for them or do something completely different. There are no right answers. This week we share how we honor our loved ones during those special days and the upcoming holidays.

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 last week’s question: How do you mark holidays or your loved one's special days?

From Cheryl, mother of Jack: I would like to tell you how we honored Jack on the 10th anniversary of his death. Our family went camping, hiked and then sat and shared some positive things we had experienced after Jack’s death that may be because of his loss.

From Mary, TAPS supporter: I mark holidays or special days of my loved ones who have gone before me by remembering their birthdays especially. I always pray for them on that day from a favorite prayer book. I used to go to the cemetery to visit them. I might also make their favorite meal on holidays. I keep them close to me in my heart and I am glad today I have found TAPS.

From Diane, mother of Caleb: In my journey, I have found I don't do the exact same thing on every “remembrance” day. One year for Caleb's birthday, I lit a candle for his 26 years of lighting up our lives (these were taper candles or bigger). I just had to do it. Another year, I invited some special people to the cemetery, and we put messages in red, white and blue balloons and sent them off. One year, I baked cinnamon rolls for Caleb's birthday, remembering the year he said, "Mom, could I have cinnamon rolls instead of a cake for my birthday?" Now, there is one thing I do on his birthday every year — I have tuna on flatbread from Subway and drink a bottle of Hank's Root Beer. I remember going to Subway with Caleb, and he'd get tuna on flatbread. Hank's Root Beer was his favorite. Ultimately, I follow my heart and do what makes me feel closer to Caleb. No matter how the days of remembrance are marked, they begin with tears and a longing for this wonderful son. Missing him never gets easier.

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

What is something you and your loved one enjoyed doing together that you still do now? We look forward to learning a bit more about you and your loved one. You can send your response to 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.


♫ Song for the Week

This week’s song is "I Miss You So" sung by Shane and Shane sent by Cheryl, mother of Jack, who wrote, “After Jack died my daughters gave me some songs that helped me. Not remind me of Jack but help my grieving heart.”

You can send me favorite songs for this song of the week section at along with a sentence or two about what makes this song meaningful.

Other Items and Events of Interest

Arlington Cemetery family at headstone

Join us on Memorial Day Weekend, May 28 to 30, for our 27th Annual National Military Survivor Seminar! We will be live streaming all of our general sessions with guest speakers.

Important Note: In-person registration is still open, but we are in a waitlist situation due to COVID occupancy restrictions in the State of Virginia. 

If you have any questions, email or call our Helpline at 202.588.TAPS (8277).

Learn More and Register


▶▶  Connect With Your TAPS Family 

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

About the Saturday Morning Message

The Saturday Morning Message (SMM) is a weekly communication contributed by survivors. The primary focus of the SMM is to foster peer-based connections for support and encouragement. It is the goal of this communication to foster a safe, supportive place where we can openly share in a nonjudgmental and caring manner. Read and contribute as you are comfortable. Content submitted for the SMM is edited for space considerations and may be used in other TAPS publications. The loving family at TAPS is available to you 24 hours a day. Please call 202-588-TAPS (8277).