Saturday Morning Message: Finding Comfort in Everyday Objects

Author: Carol Lane

Good morning,

Stress comes along when we are confronted with something emotionally difficult. Although it can come when you least expect it, lately our nation is under a great deal of stress and we all may feel it. On top of that, we continue to experience personal grief following the loss of our loved one. This is when something we can touch or look at may bring us a bit of peace. The opening picture is the heart locket I wear everyday. Inside is a small picture of my son, Bryon. When I feel stressed, I often find myself putting my hand up to feel it’s smoothness, which creates calm. That small act seems to quiet me. Today you will read how other survivors find calm when feeling stressed. 

Carol's Locket photo

Hugs,
Carol Lane
Mother of Bryon

 

Responses from Survivors to last week's question

Do you have an object, token or device that helps you relieve stress? How does it help you?

 

heart pillow

From Samira, mother of Andres: One of his pillows, a pair of his pants and this heart pillow came from Japan. When I hold the heart pillow, it is like Andres saying to me, “This is my heart. Hold it.” It really helps me! I sleep with it every night. I really miss him a lot.


necklace

From Debby, spouse of Thomas: I have a necklace that contains a small amount of Tom’s ashes in it. It reads, “My husband, my friend.” Whenever I am extremely stressed or worried, I will hold it in my hand and usually will rub the smooth back of it with my thumb. It acts like a “worry stone” for me. It helps to remind me that Tom would be telling me “Will this matter in 10 years or 100 years?” or “You’ve got this, kid.” Those were two things he would always tell me whenever I was stressed or doubted myself and my abilities. Other times, I will just hold it in my hand and it will feel either cool or warm, which also is calming because I remember how much I was loved and that “love lives on.”


rose plant

From James, father of Andrew: I do OK with stress, though I find certain things helpful to feel more at ease and relaxed. Someone gave us a rose plant after Andy passed. It’s comforting to watch it grow and develop. It just started blooming. The first flower this year appeared hidden way down low. Through what’s obvious Andy keeps his presence known - as long as we pay attention. I know his comment, “How hard is it? It’s obvious!” I smile. I think of Andy’s smiles and I feel relaxed.


 

Question for Next Week’s Saturday Morning Message 

Mary, daughter of William, sent an email telling me about how she can calm herself just by thinking of the things her father would say. Her question this week is: What are the things your loved one said that you remember most? You can share a memory of when it was said or how it makes you feel when you remember the quote. 

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

Alicia, mother of Nathan shared this song. She wrote, “‘Drowning’ by Chris Young was shared to Nathan's Facebook page by his best friend who found herself missing Nathan. I thought I would share it here for safe keeping. The lyrics say it all and just touched my heart.”

You can send your favorite songs to 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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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.