The Grieving Room

Jernee Timid after a morning of making me worry myself nearly into a fit. Photo Credit: Tremaine L. Loadholt

Finding inspiration wherever I can

I signed up for overtime this past Thursday for work this morning, and low and behold … Jernee had other plans for me — for us. The Little Monster’s history is riddled with relapses because of GERD and hemorrhagic gastroenteritis. I am no stranger to these abrupt changes in our routines, but it can be frustrating and equally taxing.

About 6 years ago, I would silently blame Jernee for many of the things I missed out on because of those relapses. There have been several concerts (Maze featuring Frankie Beverly, The Isley Brothers, and Mint Condition), trips, and just the ordinary weekend trip away or visit to my best friend’s home I have had to cancel because attending to my dog came first.

A sudden illness sparked by whatever in this sweet baby has always halted any plans I have made. One would think I wouldn’t be as strict on planning as I am, given the fact many of my plans have been shot entirely in the ground, but I do still plan. I am optimistic about what I would like to do and often want to see them through.

I have learned to live with these occurrences. There is no way for me to know whenever she will fall ill, just as there is no way for me to know when I will not be at my best, either. Taking it in stride whenever I am able helps me to deal with her illnesses and now, her age.

I have a voice in the back of my head, though, that sometimes whispers, “Think of all the things you could have done if you weren’t caring for something/someone else.” And on these days, it is harder to get past the reality of it and move forward.

This morning, when I noticed her slow pace and the constant smacking and licking of her nose, I sprung into action. Had we overdone the morning walk? Was there something in her water bowl I overlooked? Did she lick something off the grass I didn’t quite see? What now?! What?! What?! What?!

I picked her up partway home, scaled 3 flights of stairs, and monitored her just as I have done many times before this morning.

Regardless of these things, Jernee inspires me. She has given me several essays, haiku, and other poetic forms, and memoir-like creative nonfiction stories to share. She has been endless amounts of joy for me — knowing when to paw at my face gently or land a wet kiss on my cheek.

She is an overseer of sorts, always geared up for my protection, and she will face any dog or person of any size. She loves me that much. Her health is my concern and if I have to take time away from grinding and enjoying some brief moments in life, I will continue to do it.

If I could be half the person my dog is, I’d be twice the human I am. — Charles Yu

The Good Place and writing through grief

This past Monday, July 11, 2022, I had the day off to recover from the busy weekend we had last weekend. A couple days before my kid sister’s arrival, at the recommendation of a good friend of mine, I began watching The Good Place on Netflix.

I will be honest. I made it to episode 3 of season 1 and had thought I’d had enough. I sent my friend a text message basically telling her I did not want to watch something that spurred a great deal of anger within me. She mentioned how she had a hard time getting through the first few episodes as well, but soldiered on to get to the core of the series.

I laid off watching it for a few days and returned to it after I had time to calm down and work through some of my emotions regarding the first 3 episodes. The satiric connotations and subtle humor did not hit me instantly, but when I allowed myself to engage in episodes 4 through 10, I understood where the series was going.

Now, as I am nearing the last few episodes of the last season, I appreciate this series more. The concept of trying to do all we can to inspire good within ourselves and others while we’re still alive has an undeniable, strong meaning.

We will not get multiple do-overs as the characters in The Good Place. We have this life — this one life — to make a powerful statement. To do good and be as kind, understanding, loving, and charitable as we can.

Of course, while watching this series, I thought about my cousin. I wondered how she would react to this series and if we’d bounce ideas off each other to bring about more creativity and love into this world. And this is where it hit me — where the pain settled in for a while, and I had to write about it.

If you were to tell me
this would be my life
ten years ago, I
would’ve uttered some
common phrases like,
“The Devil is a lie” or
“You can’t predict the
future,” and I would’ve
swiped my tongue gingerly
across my two front teeth.

Nothing can bring hell
like the death of a loved
one — like the sound of
one heart breaking into
a million pieces and scattering
itself throughout your entire

How does it feel to walk
around with your insides
regrouping while you
find your center?

I Wish You Were Still Here, Tremaine L. Loadholt

Loss will always happen. There will always be people in this world who make us cringe. There will always be moments when we want nothing more than to have as many do-overs in life as we can, but the truth is we have the time we have now to do what we need to in order to be and get better.

How many of us will choose this?

Looking forward to a much-needed release

I have therapy coming up this week. I have questions and if there aren’t answers, I will have to learn to be okay with this. But I will ask those questions. Two of those questions revolve around my job and what I believe is best for me or how much more should I dedicate myself to giving what I have and what I can to patient care and service.

I am also struggling a great deal with wanting to take on writing/editing/content creation full-time, and not landing any job opportunities revolving around the above. I read a quote somewhere by someone I will paraphrase: “A dream is a dream. Sometimes it’s not meant to be true.”

How many of us will actually land our “dream job?” How many of us will live out our lives doing what we absolutely love above any and everything else and also get paid for it? How many of us are genuinely happy when we do land that “dream job” and not just sharing the notable moments while we skirt about the less significant ones?

This week is nearly behind me, and I want to be sure I step into the next one with a happier and healthier heart in tow. I have to make that happen. No one else can.

A track that hits straight to the soul and settles in your heart … Marvin Gaye’s Inner City Blues.

Marvin Gaye, Inner City Blues

Inflation no chance
To increase finance
Bills pile up sky high
Send that boy off to die

Make me want to holler
The way they do my life
Make me want to holler
The way they do my life

Hang ups, let downs
Bad breaks, setbacks
Natural fact is (Aww honey, that)
I can’t pay my taxes

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 published in The Grieving Room newsletter via LinkedIn.