Saturday Morning Message: Healing Through Gardening

Author: Carol Lane

Good Morning

The flowers in the opening picture are daylilies from my garden. The daylily is an amazing plant. It goes through the coldest winters in the northern part of our country and even a spring without much rain. Then one day you look out the window and see the beautiful flowers.

Carol's garden flowers

They remind me of the survivors at TAPS. We go through the toughest circumstances anyone can face, but when the time comes, we open our hearts and show the love we have for other survivors in a sparkling beauty even when we can’t give an actual hug. Flowers are a treat we can give each other especially when we are down and you can take them to others when they are in need. Enjoy the pictures of the plants and the thoughts the survivors wrote in response to last week’s question about their favorite plants.

You may have noticed the message coming to you has a bit of a different look. We have given the Saturday Morning Message an update, and are now including information on TAPS virtual events that may be of interest to you under Other Items and Events of Interest. If you have suggestions or ideas to make this message better for you, please let me know by replying to this email.

Carol Lane
Mother of Bryon


Responses from Survivors to last week's question

What is your favorite plant in your indoor or outdoor garden?

Kelsey's garden flowers

From Kelsey, mother of Michael:

My favorite flower is hydrangea. I love the large round blooms and the color variations.

Sandra's garden flowers

From Sandra, mother of Joshua:

My favorite plant is my new plant and it is called a Trailing Lantana. The trailing plant has little ridged green leaves with petite white flowers. While it looks delicate, it is hardy and can withstand six or more hours of sun. Without thinking, I planted the tiny Lantana in a most vulnerable spot of the garden, but the plant is flourishing even in the summer heat and brutal rain. Another older Lantana has grown larger and hovers over the Trailing Lantana and shades it while protecting it from the elements. I have been watering and nurturing the Trailing Lantana and my new plant is now securely rooted into the soil, has grown quite lush and has become stronger.

Annette's garden flowers

From Annette, mother of Joseph:

This is my favorite plant. Joe planted it for me many years ago. It is a very small lilac bush. I can still see him planting it with a cigarette hanging out of his mouth and done in a minute. He worked for a landscaper, so he planted so many beautiful specimens for me. This year were the most amazing blooms.  We have a large backyard and the lilac bush is on a hill. When I walked outside the whole back smelled of lilacs. I was so happy. I had a very vivid dream of Joe the first night I smelled it. For a few minutes after I woke up, I thought he was alive. Then it hit me. I went down to get coffee. My grandson was sleeping over. I looked out and there was a beautiful red cardinal. We were both so excited. A pair of cardinals were around every morning for the next few days. I have no doubt who was here!

Question for Next Week’s Saturday Morning Message 

If you were to write a book honoring your loved one's life, what would be the title and why?

Many of us have found reading helpful now that we are spending more time at home, so I thought this would be an interesting question: If you were to write a book honoring your loved one's life, what would be the title and why? 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 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 Shelton, father of Adam, who wrote, “I don't like country music, but 'Be My Baby Tonight' by John Michael Montgomery is a favorite of mine. When Adam was a little boy, we used to sing this song together with his sisters. We used to jump up and down laughing and singing at the top of our lungs. So, when I hear this song it makes me think of those moments with Adam.”

You can send me favorite songs for this song of the week section at 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 and your thoughts will be passed along to them. You never know how your words may touch the heart of another.

Related Stories

garden flowers

How Gardening Helps with Grieving

Many survivors find that gardening can help with the healing process after the death of a loved one.

garden flowers

3 Ways Gardening Changed My Outlook on Grief

After my husband died, I felt like there was no hope. Then I found gardening, and it became a source of healing in my grief journey


chat icon

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

calendar icon


The TAPS National Military Suicide Survivor Seminar is going virtual. Held October 16-18, you will hear from others who have walked the road you are traveling. Sessions will offer vital information on anxiety, loss and family dynamics, talking to children and more. The grief that follows suicide loss can be uniquely complicated. You are not alone, and we invite you to join us for a time of hope and healing. 

Celebrating 20 Years of Team TAPS 

For 20 years, Team TAPS has honored our heroes and raised awareness and funds to support the TAPS mission. This year, in celebration of our 20th anniversary, we are coming together to create a virtual movement. We will walk, run, bike, swim, and row - find ways to move in honor of our loved ones. We will gain strength, go the distance, and encourage each other. Join us for this adventure

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

pencil icon

We're all in this together

Have you lost your job or have reduced household income? How has the pandemic made an impact on your life? 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. Please share how COVID-19 has impacted you by taking our survey.


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, 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

Those who take either survey will receive a discount to the TAPS store for providing this important and valuable feedback.

shopping cart icon

AmazonSmile is a simple way for you to support TAPS every time you shop, at no cost to you. Visit, 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

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.