Saturday Morning Message: The Kindest Things You Can DO for Yourself

Author: Carol Lane

Good morning,

When we are grieving, we often forget to take care of ourselves. Eating healthy snacks can be overlooked as a way to care for our health. Apples are in abundance at this time of the year and make good snacks, so I thought it would make a good opening picture for this Saturday Morning Message on the topic of being kind to ourselves. In addition to the survivor responses this week, I am including some ideas from past messages to give you a wide range of ideas for self care:

woman holding red apple

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: When you are in pain — physical or emotional — what is the kindest thing you can do for yourself?

From Leslie, mother of Eugene: When I am having a difficult time, I decide if I need to go to the pool. I live in an apartment with an indoor and outdoor pool. Or I need to practice the piano. Both give me time to offset the moment and diffuse any major issues.

Sometimes I need a friend, walking and lots of talking. I am fortunate that I have friends I’ve known since I was 9 years old. There’s not much to say, because they know what’s needed. When I am having a particularly hard day, I practice and go shopping and then a few of us meet to talk about issues other than mine.

From Kim, wife of Milton: Milton's death really took a toll on me. What helped me in the beginning of my grief journey was writing in a journal. I could sit and write, cry, and put all of my feelings on paper. No one could tell me my feelings were right or wrong or not proper. They were my true feelings and only for me to read. I could be honest and open and release those feelings. I also joined a 24-hour gym. I would walk on the treadmill for periods of time and meditate. Since I was sleeping so very little, most of my time at the gym was in the very early morning and I was alone with my thoughts and the treadmill. I no longer journal, but I still keep up with my exercise routine and am very involved with many activities within my town that keep me busy. For me, keeping busy is the key.

From Merry, mother of Wesley:

Self care for me is:
  • Dialogue and prayer with the Holy Trinity.
  • Gardening, which I love. It keeps me grounded in an activity I began as a 5-year-old. 
  • Getting a one-hour massage at my favorite spa or a 20-minute massage at the local health food store.
  • Driving to the mountains. 

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 comes from an article in the fall TAPS magazine written by Amy Tucci. She reviews a book titled "Finding Peace, One Piece at a Time" by Rachel Kodanaz. In the book, Rachel tells the process she followed when deciding what to do with her loved one’s belongings. This week’s question: What have you done with your loved one’s possessions? We look forward to your responses. 

The Saturday Morning Message was created so survivors can share questions and read how others respond. By sharing coping strategies, together we become stronger. I am always looking for questions for future messages. You never know how your words may touch the heart of another. I encourage you to reply to the Saturday Morning Message by emailing 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 your response 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

The song this week was sent by Kathy, a staff member at TAPS. She wrote, “I have a new favorite song that makes me think of TAPS, specifically of Bonnie Carroll, TAPS president and founder. It's called "Crowded Table."  I love it, because it reminds me that we're there for each other when we're feeling low and that everyone is welcome in TAPS and has a place at Bonnie's table. 

This is the last verse:

The door is always open
Your picture's on my wall
Everyone's a little broken
And everyone belongs
Yeah, everyone belongs 

You can send your favorite songs to

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).