Saturday Morning Message: Resolutions for the New Year

Author: Carol Lane

Good morning,

My resolution comes from the many years I have been connected with TAPS. I look forward to working with all of you and welcome you to the new year of Saturday Morning Messages. My resolution this year is to attend more TAPS events, so I can get to know some of you in person. I know you will enjoy reading survivors’ resolutions in this week’s edition.

2020 - jude-beck-unsplash

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: What is your resolution for the New Year?

 

From Kelsey, mother of Michael: My New Year's resolution is to put myself first and start taking care of my physical and emotional health. Part of that is reconnecting with old friends. Since my son’s death I have been a recluse.

From Anna, fiancé of Benjamin: In 2020, I will continue to fight, be strong, spread kindness and carry on my fiancé’s legacy.

From Kaanan, spouse of Matthew: Be the voice of my family's needs. This last year has taught me that I am my greatest advocate for my family’s needs. How important it is to be my own voice in those needs as they aren’t the same as everyone else’s. 

Betty at Machu Picchu

From Betty, mother of Michael: The theme for the 2019 National Suicide Seminar was “Remember the Dash,” referencing the punctuation used on grave markers. The speakers reminded us to focus on the life lived by our loved one as opposed to the birth and death dates. Since that seminar, my quest has been to “continue the dash”— to continue to live the life my son, Michael, would have lived.

As the consummate Boy Scout, Michael loved the outdoors, climbing mountains, hiking and camping. Furthering Michael’s footprints has caused me to get out of my comfort zone and challenge my own abilities. The TAPS Expedition program has been an incentive to accomplish some of these goals. Last year Michael and I climbed Machu Picchu with the TAPS family. In October we ran with Team Taps in the 10K portion of the Marine Corps Marathon.

I’m not sure what adventures await us this year, but my resolution is to continue to honor him—everyday in every way—particularly in the great outdoors. I will not only remember the dash; I will continue it. 

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 came from Donna, mother of Eric, who said, “I wrote a letter to myself from Eric. It was so hard to write, but that tear-stained letter is read often and I cherish it. That letter was written from him in heaven.” So Donna’s question is, “What do you think your loved one would say to you today?” We all 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

From Edward, father of Edward III: The bands the Offspring and Five Finger Death Punch sing a song called "Gone Away". I love and hate this song. It brings out so many emotions in me when I hear it.

A father will do anything for his children. Even if he had the opportunity to convince the grim reaper to take him and not his child. To me if I could, I would take my son’s place in heaven or Valhalla if that meant he would come back to life and go on with his life. I know this cannot and will not ever happen, but I still tear up when I hear the song like the old saying goes: No parent should outlive their child. 

Unfortunately it happens, leaving the child's loved ones to deal with their passing. I hope that I am living my life in a way my son would be proud of and that I am honoring his sacrifice of protecting his family and country. Until that day comes, I will continue to play the song.

I will forever love my son. 

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.


Other Items and Events of Interest
 

Caregiver to Survivor Program banner

TAPS recognizes the urgent need to support families who have lost a military loved one after having been a caregiver. The leading cause of death of our military loved ones is reported by survivors to be illness, but we know there are many survivors that experienced a loss after having cared for a loved one who was traumatically injured or diseased as well. 

At TAPS we understand, and we’re here to support our survivors as they navigate a grief journey that may have begun even before the death of your loved one. And, we are mindful of the differences present when someone has been a caregiver before they have transitioned to a survivor. The Caregiver to Survivor Program was developed with this in mind. 

We invite you to explore our resources and encourage you to reach out for support and take advantage of this exciting new program. 

▶▶  Connect With Other Survivors of Illness Loss

Join with other caregivers who supported their loved one through a devastating illness. Honor and share your loved one, the emotions, issues and challenges facing bereaved caregivers. Regardless of the circumstance or geography of the death, you are welcome in the TAPS Caregiver Support Chat. 

Caregiver to Survivor Chat
Wednesday, May 19
8:00 p.m. - 9:30 p.m. Eastern
We hope to see you there!

▶▶  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.


Did you lose your loved one due to an illness?

Illness Loss Survey

If your military loved one suffered with a wound, illness, or injury, please consider taking our new Illness Loss Survivor Survey, 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.


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).