The Grieving Room

Weathering the storm when it comes

Weathering the storm when it comes.

I will not claim to be incredibly emotionally sound, however, I give myself the time I need to move through emotions when the death grip of them appears. I can spend days with sadness, weeks with fear, minutes with anger, etc. I know when it is time to move away from these emotions and get myself back into the cool, crispness of my realm. I rarely settle in the depths of these emotions when they arise, but my momentary stay with them worries my loved ones.

When you are often the picture of positivity and “a light” shining on those who depend on you, your own heart can be weighed down with guilt and anything else that may come into your line of sight, and as soon as you acknowledge whatever the cause may be and spend some time with those feelings, people worry. They want to make sure you will be okay — that you will “bounce back” and be their shoulder to lean on once again. They often want to be sure they do not have to deal with the pain of watching you move through your pain for too long — it makes them uncomfortable.

But this is life and life has things that will shake us up when we least expect it. Grief looks different for everyone experiencing it. It is not some cookie-cutter emotion channeling its way through each of us exactly the same. How you move through grieving may be entirely different from how someone close to you moves through it.

The seven stages of grief.

According to HCF, the seven stages of grief include:

Shock and denial

Pain and guilt

Anger and bargaining

Depression (loneliness & reflection)

Upward turn

Reconstruction

Acceptance (and hope)

Allow me to be completely transparent. I am teetering between depression and an upward turn. However, I sometimes find myself tip-toeing into anger and bargaining as well.

This past week, I had more good days than I did bad ones. My younger cousin shared a painting she’s working on that includes her mother, her grandmother, herself, and her unborn child. To witness the strength, pain, happiness, and exactness of her painting shot through me, and before I could stop them, the tears flowed freely. I had been warned beforehand, and I wanted to see her work — wanted to connect with it. I am glad I did.

Sharing that moment with her, which reflected the beauty of her mother and the lives lost around her, caused me to smile through the pain. Here was my younger cousin honoring her late mother in such a way one could not fathom its fruition. I told her I wanted to see the finished product, and I am certain she will share it with me.

I had experienced a momentary storm, but I moved through it. There will be more and I will find the emotional wherewithal to move through those moments, just as I did the one above.

Honoring our loved ones when they are gone.

My cousin’s death pushed me to be more creative. It has been a reason for me to grant myself the power of “Yes” instead of standing flimsily behind fear and the audacity of “No.” I have written a compilation of poems as an e-book in her honor and have shared it with some friends and my family. I have also opened up the channels to have the e-book purchased by others I have asked personally, and I am overjoyed with the results of this.

I took the time to share my feelings in safe spaces, pulled the strongest poems from these experiences, and completed their outcome in October Star: Poems for Chrissy. It is not the only batch of work I have dedicated myself to. In the midst of it all, I have finally committed to a work of fiction — including some of my most popular fiction stories and serial fiction works as well. I am hopeful this book will be available in the next month or two.

I know none of this would be possible had I not suffered the pain and anguish of my dear cousin taking her final breath two months ago. She had been strong in her sense of self and often told me to simply “Go for it” whenever I had an idea about something. So, in my own way, without her around now, I am going for every damn thing I said I would in the past. It is time. It is past time.

I will leave you with a comment a fellow writer on Medium, DL Nemeril, shared with me about grief on the introduction to The Grieving Room, “There is no good way. There is no easy way. There is only your way.”

Welcome to The Grieving Room. I am here. You are here. We are not alone in this.

See you next Saturday.


©2022 Tremaine L. Loadholt Originally shared via LinkedIn.

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