Saturday Morning Message: The Positive Impact of Peer Mentoring

Author: Carol Lane

Good Morning,

The TAPS Peer Mentor Program offers a companion on our grief journey. We are matched with another survivor who has suffered a similar loss. The opening picture is from the article, "5 Reasons Peer Support Has Helped Me Through My Grief," written by Amanda Klager who is the surviving sister of Army Spc. Adam Klager.

In the article, she shared how others in her life tried to support her, but they did not have the same relationship to her brother as she did. Then TAPS paired her with a sibling mentor and she found someone who knew what she was feeling and who could support her, without judgement, on the tough days.

Amanda and Adam Klager

In this week’s Saturday Morning Message and in honor of National Mentoring Month, survivors share about the comfort they have received from peer mentors and how meaningful those relationships have been for them.  If you would like to become a peer mentor or would like to request the support of a peer mentor, please visit the TAPS Peer Mentor pages for more information and to submit an interest form.

Hugs,
Carol Lane
Mother of Bryon

 


Responses from Survivors to last week's question

Have you ever served as a mentor or benefitted from the guidance and support of a mentor? What did that experience mean to you?

 

From Myrtice, mother of Derek: I humbly serve as a peer mentor, but my gratefulness is to MY mentors. These mentors gave me encouragement, comfort, and friendship. They are/were reliable, consistent and could relate.

From Peggy, mother of Brian: My mentor listened without talking, provided support while letting me cry, and knew how I felt as she too had lost a child to veteran suicide. The first year was a very traumatic one of firsts without my son:  his first birthday, Christmas and then it ended with the angelversary of my Brian's death. My mentor helped me navigate these challenges without becoming overwhelmed by them. My mentor was my lifeline, particularly that first year; and after nine years, I still keep in contact via Facebook with my mentor as she is my forever friend.

From Kitty, mother of John: Over the last 9 years with mentees from several states, it has been my privilege to listen and share experiences that assist others in arriving at their "new normal." It is a satisfying feeling when they realize their love caused the grief and this love also gets them moving forward. The scar always remains. Many friendships have been established. One of the most thrilling events for me is when one of my mentees took the peer mentor training. We were able to meet and attend the National Seminar with many fond memories.

 

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 online@taps.org 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 

Many people like to participate in sports and lots of families share traditions of watching or attending sporting events together. Do you have a special sports memory of your loved one that you would like to share?

This year’s Super Bowl is next Sunday, February 7, 2021, which is the day after our next Saturday Morning Message comes to your email. So, we thought it might be fun to share our favorite sports stories about our loved ones in the next edition. This also will let us know a little more about your loved one. You can choose a sport that he/she played or liked to watch. We look forward to reading your responses.

 

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 online@taps.org. In order to have your reply included the following week, it is best to send your response by Tuesday morning.

 


Song for the Week
 

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From Carol, mother of Bryon: When I feel a bit low, I put on a list of songs that help lift my spirits. One of those uplifting songs is "Somewhere Over the Rainbow". I chose Ella Fitzgerald’s rendition. I have loved listening to her since I was a little girl. To me, the lyrics mean that I can change my mood from darkness to thoughts that are filled with light and beauty. Ella’s version of this song helps me do just that.

 

Send Your Favorite Song or Recipe

Each week, we publish recipes or songs that have special meaning for our subscribers. 

With the Super Bowl taking place next weekend and with food being such a large part of how we celebrate the sports we enjoy; we would love to hear from you about your favorite recipes of snacks or meals that your family or your loved one used to enjoy while watching sports.

If you would like to share your favorite sports recipe, please send those to online@taps.org and include a note about why the recipe is meaningful to you. We are grateful for your contributions to the Saturday Morning Message.

 


Related Stories
 

laying flags at cemetery

Article: Ready to Mentor – Ready to Heal

Peer support is so important not only for other survivors to know they’re not alone in this journey but also for ourselves. It gives us purpose again in our life.

Peer Mentor Training

Video: The Power of Peer Mentoring

This video recording discusses the TAPS Peer Mentors program and the ability for peers to help to nurture this potential in others.

 


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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Breath of Fresh Air With TAPS Outdoors - Season 2

The Breath of Fresh Air series, presented by TAPS Outdoors, is for everyone and requires no previous outdoor experience! With bi-weekly videos and Campfire Chats, we'll help you find the right tips, tools and tricks to navigate the wilds of our natural world and the wilds of your grief.

In Season 2: Sowing Seeds, we will utilize the skills we developed over winter to plant seeds of hope for the flourishing summer ahead. Spring is the season of new beginnings, and we look forward to preparing the ground, planting seeds and growing with you in the journey to blooms. The official launch date is Wednesday, March 3.


Free Webinars Presented by the TAPS Institute for Hope and Healing®

Gain valuable information and coping strategies through the TAPS Institute for Hope and Healing. In February, you have two opportunities to participate in free online sessions. 


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


We're All In This Together

COVID-19 Support and Resources

At TAPS, we’re no stranger to challenging times, and we’re all doing our part to support one another and get through these difficult times together. As always, TAPS is here 24/7, and our team is working hard to provide resources, services and support to surviving military families as they navigate the challenges of COVID-19. For more information or questions, visit our COVID-19 Response and Resources page or please email us at info@taps.org.


Choose TAPS as Your AmazonSmile Charity of Choice

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 202-588-8277.