Saturday Morning Message: Treating Ourselves

Author: Carol Lane

Good Morning,

Darcie Sims was a wonderful speaker and supporter of TAPS. She saw snowflakes as a way to describe ourselves, our loved ones and each person’s grief, because there are no perfectly identical snowflakes. Each one is unique. In her article, “Snowflakes Surviving the Winter Season”, she not only wrote about understanding these differences, but one of her suggestions was to, “Buy a gift for yourself. Wrap it, but don’t hide it! Just when you think you are going ‘off the deep end,’ open it up and enjoy.”


Treating yourself may be the farthest thing on your mind this season, but it is important to give yourself just a little pleasure, no matter how small. When you give yourself a treat, it is amazing how it can lift your spirits. 

We are grateful to everyone who reads the Saturday Morning Message and who has so openly shared their thoughts, special songs and recipes with us throughout the year. The next two weeks will be a little different. This will be the last message until after the holiday season. We look forward to reconnecting with you in our first Saturday Morning Message of 2021 on Saturday, January 9.

As we look ahead to the holidays and the start of a new year, we know that you may experience some tough days. Please know that TAPS is your family and we are always here for you 24/7. Anytime you need support, please call us at 202.588.TAPS (8277). We are here to help.

Carol Lane
Mother of Bryon


Responses from Survivors to last week's question

What are you going to do to treat yourself for getting through the holiday season?

From Ellen, fiancé of David: Since my DVD player isn't working, my "treat" to myself will be to purchase a new player, then make plans for a cozy evening. I'll make a cup of hot tea, curl up with a warm blanket and watch my Bee Gees concert videos.

From Diane, mother of Caleb: My daughter and I have had a Christmas tradition of shopping. We have to go to the city for mega shopping. At the end of the day, we'd do something fun and then spend the night. My daughter didn't come home this year as she lives in another state now. I am looking forward to doing something like that when it is safer to travel.

From Lauren, sister of Andy: I love taking a moment in the evening to put my phone away, turn off the tv and all the lights except the lights on the Christmas tree. Enjoying a quiet moment where I can look at the tree, and each ornament, thinking of all the special memories they hold helps me to find peace and joy in the season. Some years it has been hard to find the energy to put the tree up, but I am always so happy when I do.  

From Merry, mother of Wesley:  Since my birthday is the day before Christmas, I thought this year I would treat myself to a massage at my favorite spa. Also, a local restaurant gives a birthday coupon and takes a percentage off the bill according to your age. And, that means a whopping discount for me!  Plus, it's great seafood!! Wes and I celebrated two of my birthdays there in a row.

We Welcome Your Comments

If you would like to send a note commenting on one or all of the responses in this week’s Saturday Morning Message, send it to and your thoughts will be passed along to each contributor. You never know how your words may touch the heart of another.


Question for Next Week’s Saturday Morning Message 

What are you planning to start or continue to do that will give you a sense of accomplishment in the upcoming year?

As a new year approaches, many of us take time to reflect on the past year. We know that 2020, however, has been a challenging year for so many in so many ways. It may have you looking towards 2021 with a fresh perspective, full of hope and seeking joy and connection and making plans on how to achieve those things even in the tiniest of ways. We look forward to you sharing your goals and plans with us for 2021 in our first Saturday Morning Message of the New Year.

In order to have your reply considered for the January 9, 2021 edition of the Saturday Morning Message, it is best to send your response by Tuesday morning, January 5 to

We Welcome Your Questions 

The Saturday Morning Message was created so survivors can share questions and read how others respond. Questions for future messages are always welcome and can be sent to


Song for the Week

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Survivors have sent holiday songs for this section that are special to them. We hope that you enjoy these musical selections. 

From Perry, father of Christopher: When I heard “Jealous of the Angels”, I thought of my TAPS family at this time of year. 

From Leslie, mother of Eugene: December is a particularly hard month. Gene’s birthday is sandwiched in between Chanukah and Christmas. Sometimes you just need a waltz that is graceful and lite that goes perfectly with the holiday, so here is “The Christmas Waltz” performed by Kristin Chenoweth. 

I also love this song and just love this version of “In the Arms of the Angel”, performed by Sarah McLachlan.. When I listen to this song I feel as if my son is wrapping his arms around me. 

From Katherine and Robert Conant, parents of John: They sent this video to brighten our season as it has theirs: “Jingle Bells” and “Auld Lang Syne” performed by members of  the United States Air Force Band.

TAPS Spotify Playlist: A survivor once suggested we include a song of the week, which has now become a biweekly feature. One of our contributors, Andy, father of Danny, makes a free playlist 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.

Send Your Favorite Song or Recipe

If you have a favorite recipe or song for this section, please send those to me to and include a note about why the recipe or song is meaningful to you. We publish a special song or recipe in each Saturday Morning Message.


Related Stories

mom and daughter in front of holiday fireplace

Article: Prepare Yourself for the Holidays

Get tips from grief experts to help you cope with the loss of a loved one during this holiday season.

christmas angel

Video: Grief in the Holidays: Finding Meaning and Hope as a Family

Video recording discussion on strategies for coping with the challenges of grieving during the holiday season, including how to make the holidays 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).