Saturday Morning Message: Our Loved Ones in Book Titles

Author: Carol Lane

Good Morning

This topic introduces our loved ones in a unique way. Thinking of a book title and then writing a little bit about why that title was chosen gives the readers an idea of the lives these special people lived. Each paragraph gives us a window to view those who will always be so close to our fellow survivors.

Writer's Club Book

As you read through the responses, you may want to write something about your loved one and think it is too late, but it isn’t. In addition to the Saturday Morning Message, I also put together a monthly bulletin called the Writers’ Circle. In this email publication, survivors write longer pieces about their loved one or the journey that grief has taken them. This is also the perfect spot to put responses to the weekly question after you have thought more about it. Those who sign up can also just read it. Since it is meant to be another source of comfort, there is no pressure to send a written piece. If this interests you, send me a request at online@taps.org.

Enjoy today’s message.

Hugs,
Carol Lane
Mother of Bryon


Responses from Survivors to last week's question

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

From Robert, father of John: If we were to write a book about our son, John, it would have to be titled "#2, The Strong Willed Child." Why? He was a very intelligent and precocious child. He helped his elementary teachers in their classrooms after school, so he might pick up more knowledge, even though I don't think he realized that. He had the bull-headed approach to life and was right. We found out many years later that his older brother bullied him, for lack of a better term. Loveable and always wanting just one more hug for assurance. He was somewhat paranoid and found it hard to trust people, much like his father, also a #2 son. My motto for our four kids is LEA. Love 'em anyway!

From Lydia Joy, mother of Carl: The title of my book would be "Shooting Star." When I started to explain why, this happened...

Shooting Star

You were a shooting star
Bright across the heavens
While you lived.
You burned brighter, stronger, faster
And you were gone.
If we, who knew you, are lucky enough
We will find the meteorites you left behind.
Full of precious things
That reflect the man you were.

From Leslie, mother of Stephen: If I would write a book honoring our son, it would be "I'm  Okay but . . ." It would tell the history of his life through antics that made him the man he became by leaning into his fears and moving forward through them to help others.

From Chantel, fiancé of Alexander: If I were to write a book in honor of Alex, it would be called "You're Welcome for Your Freedom." Alex loved serving in the Air Force and he loved serving his country. Every time anyone used to poke fun of him for a perk he got for his service in the Air Force, he would always give a sly smile and say, "You're welcome for your freedom." Even when people would try to talk politics with him, he would never engage in debate. His philosophy was always that this was the greatest country in the world. Regardless of people's differences, he would always respond with a statement to reflect the fact that he woke up every morning to ensure we all have the freedom to hold our own beliefs.

From Thais, mother of Dwayne: The title would be “The Life and Strength of My Sun, Dwayne” From the day he was born I called him 'My Sun' and I always wrote it that way. His presence warmed peoples’ souls and shed light where there were shadows, helping his crew


Question for Next Week’s Saturday Morning Message 

What is a favorite food your loved one liked and why was this dish special?

July 25, is Culinarians’ Day. It's a special day for anyone who cooks and an exciting one for all of us who get to enjoy the fruits of their labor. That means just about everyone of us gets to celebrate this day. You don't have to be a chef or a graduate of a culinary institute to celebrate this day. You simply have to cook and to enjoy the results, so the question this week is: What is a favorite food your loved one liked and why was this dish special? 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, "Open Me," sung by Shawn McDonald, came from Cheryl, mother of Jack. She writes that this is one song that helps her grieving heart. 

This song of the week section is in need of more songs. You can send songs that comfort you, make you happy, make you smile, or make you remember a special time. Send them to online@taps.org and include a note about why the song or group of songs are 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.


Related Stories

Sharing Book Thoughts

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

men and grief book cover

Book Shelf: Men and Their Grief: 20 Years Later

Like many men, I suppose I didn't want to talk about or even watch other men discuss their grief.


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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#ListenLearnLove 

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.
 

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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 illnessloss@taps.org

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

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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.