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 online@taps.org.

Hugs,
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 for...shopping, 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 online@taps.org 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 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 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 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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TAPS Store: Free Holiday Shipping Promotion

Planning to do your holiday shopping with TAPS? Our TAPS Online Store is excited to announce our holiday shipping promotion. From Friday, November 27 through Sunday, December 13, spend $50 in the TAPS Online Store and receive FREE ground shipping. 

Women's Empowerment - December Programming

Are you looking for additional support during this time? You may just find your sisterhood during our Women's Empowerment programming events! Beginning on December 4, a variety of sessions are available daily from Tuesday to Friday of each week and are open to all TAPS women wrestling with questions of identity and purpose after loss. 

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


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Wreaths Across America

TAPS and Wreaths Across America have teamed up to honor those who served and died for our country Please honor and remember our country’s fallen heroes by sponsoring a Remembrance Wreath that will be laid on the graves of our military and veteran loved ones. Orders for 2020 placement must be made by end of day on Monday, November 30, 2020. You could also join us on December 19, 2020, by volunteering to lay wreaths. Invite your family and friends, as well.


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Military Sibling Grief Survey

If you are a military surviving sibling, we invite you to share about your grief experience and perceptions of support you have received in a Military Sibling Grief Survey being conducted by Dr. Courtney Sanchez, a Gold Star sibling and doctor of psychiatric medicine with Prisma Health Midlands in Columbia, South Carolina.

Participation in this survey is completely anonymous. Dr. Sanchez's goal is to create a better understanding of this unique survivor population in order to help provide support for surviving siblings.

 

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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 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.