Saturday Morning Message: Show Us How You Display Your Keepsakes

Author: Carol Lane

Good Morning,

The idea for today’s message came from Rachel, mother of Matthew, who sent a picture and wrote, “I wanted to express the emptiness in my heart. Since I'm not good with words and have always loved photography I decided on this. I felt these items best represented my ache at the time. I will forever have "boots in the house."

Rachel's keepsake display of boots in the house

Rachel may reflect what others may be feeling in regards to their writing. Some readers of the Saturday Morning Message may not be as comfortable with writing, so I encourage you to send your photos, graphics or drawings with a sentence or two in response to the question of the week. We hope you enjoy this week's message.

Hugs,
Carol Lane
Mother of Bryon


Responses from Survivors to last week's question

What have you done to display your loved one's things that are special to you?

 

Eugene's art of a batik

From Leslie, mother of Eugene:

Eugene made this in school when he was 9 years old. It is a batik. I have reframed it which he thought was silly, but he swelled with pride thinking how important it is to me.

Bryon's Marien items

From Carol, mother of Bryon:

Today is Bryon’s birthday, so I thought I would share some of the items I display. He was a Marine helicopter crew chief and that is why the helmet is there along with other items special to him. This display is in the room that was his bedroom. He was very proud of being a Marine, so these things chosen remind me of the love we shared both for each other and for our country.


Question for Next Week’s Saturday Morning Message 

What are some strategies you use to help when those waves of grief come over you now?

We are all experiencing the isolation caused by the pandemic, and when those feelings are combined with grief, it can be hard on us, so I thought we could share what we do to help relieve our stress. The question this week is: What are some strategies you use to help when those waves of grief come over you now? Sharing the methods you use may help other readers. We look forward to your responses.

The Saturday Morning Message was created so survivors can share questions and read how others respond. Questions for future messages are always welcome. You can reply to this message or email online@taps.org In order to have your reply included the following week, it is best to send your response by Tuesday morning. Thank you to everyone responding this week and those who read this message.


♫ Song for the Week

This week’s song is from Anne, spouse of John and mother of Michael, who writes, “ One of my favorite songs is 'You Raise Me Up' by Josh Groban. I used to sing this song to my husband, John, who passed away five years ago. We also lost our son, Michael, in the Marine Corps and every time I heard this song I thought of Michael and now since I lost my sweet husband, I feel that they are both together smiling and looking down on me! I just loved those men!

You can send me favorite songs for this song of the week section at online@taps.org and include a note about why the song is meaningful to you.


Share Your Thoughts

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 online@taps.org and your thoughts will be passed along to them. You never know how your words may touch the heart of another.


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Meaningful Objects

Do you have a personal object that really speaks to your heart?

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Boxes in the Attic

Try to keep in mind that saving everything in boxes and footlockers until you die may prevent others from enjoying memories, finding meaning, or honoring your loved one.


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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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.

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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 illnessloss@taps.org.

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.

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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.