Dead in Akron

An Audio Lamentation for Jayland Walker

Photo by bimo mentara on Unsplash
Dead in Akron by Tremaine L. Loadholt

90 shots fired?
90? 90? Are we sure?
Could be a little more
Could be a little less.
Who’s counting? When it’s
us, who’s counting?

You can’t be Black and young
and afraid of authorities in
America, it’s ammunition
for their ammunition, and
you will never win against
their numbers.

The system was designed to
hunt us like deer
draw our slain bodies from
the scene, and mount us
above their mantels;
prizes for their buddies
to gawk at.

There are checks being
cut for the officials
who can sell the most
bullshit in the darkest times
and the 1% has scrambled to
collect their due.

While we continue to
drop like flies, letters
lacking empathy are issued
to grieving families and lawyers
prepare themselves to seek
the highest monetary amount
possible as though money
resurrects the dead.

What do you do when
you’ve become numb to
the constant pain that settles
in your bones?
It’s there, you know it’s there
but now … it lingers
like a reminder, one you
claim as a task to get
rid of, yet …

You never will.


©2022 Tremaine L. Loadholt Originally published in soliloque via Medium.

“After a car chase, Walker got out of his car and a foot chase took place, police said. Officers believed Walker was reaching towards his waist and they ‘felt that Mr. Walker had turned and was motioning and moving into a firing position,’ Mylett said.

Walker, however, was not armed, Mylett said Sunday.” — Samantha Beecher & Dakin Andone, CNN News

The Grieving Room

How many more crosses must we bear?

I don’t have the energy to put into words the sheer destruction taking place before my eyes within the United States of America. SCOTUS, to put it rather frankly, just tap-danced on our hearts. It is undoubtedly clear that women and human beings with reproductive parts do not matter. It is even more clear that People of Color with reproductive parts do not matter. Many have marched decades ago for simple human rights; others have marched more recently and protested and made themselves seen in the face of democracy, however, Roe v. Wade was still overturned.

How did we even get here and how many more crosses must we bear? A co-worker and friend reached out to me yesterday, shortly after I ended a call with one of my patients, to inform me of the news. She said, “I am low in my spirits, Tre. They just overturned Roe v. Wade.” I am unsure where you were when you received the news — how you handled it, but I am an all-feeling person, and I can’t (un)feel something like this. My immediate response to her was, “I could have gone all day without reading this! What next? Soon, we won’t be able to vote or work or make impactful decisions.”

Make no mistake, there will be more. They will come for everything they can get from us until we are dry bones withering in the wind. The patriarchy is out for blood and their incisors are sharp and waiting for their next victims.

Ansley Cole, a college student from Atlanta, said she was “scared because what are they going to come after next? … The next election cycle is going to be brutal, like it’s terrifying. And if they’re going to do this, again, what’s next?” — AP News, June 24, 2022

Reread that quote above. A college student from Atlanta. A college student. A college … Autonomy is being stripped away from generations of women and people with reproductive parts and enforced abortion bans are sliding into several states — as if they were on the back burner just waiting to be moved to the front. Everything is on fire. Everything is burning. No amount of water can extinguish it. You already have our uteruses. What will you come for next, America?!

My heart is aching. My mind is all over the place — unsettled. I have tried to focus on something else this morning, but I just cannot. My brothers do not have to worry about senseless decisions made by vindictive men, but my younger sister does. I am being tasked with the question in my head repeatedly, “Will my brothers fight for me and my sister in the face of tyranny and inequality and our actual rights to own the decisions we make regarding our bodies?” Will they? I hope to God they would.

Whatever your stance, you have the right to your opinion and your beliefs, but once you take away a person’s choice to do what they believe is best for their own bodies and their personal situations, there is no trust. There can be no trust.


A day off to keep an emotional breakdown at bay.

This past Monday, June 20, 2022, I had to call out of work. The night before, I swam in a sea of emotions and battled with myself about my current position and how much the medical field is changing. I dislike calling out from work. It is not something I do often and whenever it has to be done, a huge part of me feels guilty and ashamed that I needed time away.

With therapy, I am working on understanding why I must be a priority. I am learning that a mental health day should be high on my list of things to gift myself, and I should not be penalized for knowing I need one — for acting on it. In the medical field though, and I hate to say this, the patients come first. You are a servant to them and your feelings/mental health status/emotional presence truly does not matter. These things are to be tucked away and presented only when the patient (s) has been taken care of and attended to.

Aside from a few tears shed because I had been overwhelmed the entire weekend, I enjoyed having the day free to gather myself. Out of nowhere, my emotions just took over, and I had to struggle to set my mind, heart, and body right. There were moments throughout the day on Monday when I thought I would sink completely low and not be able to pull myself up again. I made it through, though.

I spent the day cuddling with my dog, reading, writing, and watching the entire first season of God’s Favorite Idiot on Netflix. If you’re looking for a series to bring a bit of light-heartedness and humor into your world right now, I recommend that one. Melissa McCarthy is a comedic genius, and I love her. I needed all the laughs that came from watching the series. I truly did.


“Everything’s going to work out just fine. Don’t worry about it.”

This past Wednesday, my younger cousin sent an audio file (including a picture of me, our cousin Akua (Caison’s mom), and her beautiful mother) to me of Chrissy stating the above quote, along with another. I cannot tell you the number of times I’ve played this recording. The number of times I have cried from hearing her voice — from smiling because I could visually place her facial expression as she said the above, “Everything’s going to work out just fine. Don’t worry about it.”

Truth be known, I am crying my way through this newsletter, but it’s getting done. With all the events taking place in the world — the deaths, decisions that affect millions of people, the gun-slingers who will outright kill you for merely existing, etc., and whatever else is to come, I can only think about this moment and perhaps the next fifteen minutes ahead. Thanks to another cousin of mine, who slipped this quote into my brain, “Take life fifteen minutes at a time,” I am doing just that.

“Everything’s going to work out just fine.” I believe that. “Don’t worry about it.” I’ll try not to.


Grief is a heavy load to lug around.

My therapist said to me this past Thursday, June 23, 2022, “You are on nobody’s timeline. Grief isn’t on a timer that automatically shuts off when it’s done with you. Remember to allow yourself the time you need to feel everything, Tre.”

Grief is heavy. It comes with every ounce it wants to carry along with it, and it drops on you when you least expect it. It is in the air — in the words of someone close to you — spills out of a patient’s mouth when all you wanted to do was schedule them for their procedures. It is everywhere and in everything.

I am learning to adjust to a life that is missing someone who meant more to me than mere words can state. I am learning to endure a life without a gem who could make me smile instantly. I am moving forward with a life that still needs me in it to live it. I want to be known for more than simply surviving. I aim to be known for more than simply surviving.

Throughout history, it has been the inaction of those who could have acted; the indifference of those who should have known better; the silence of the voice of justice when it mattered most; that has made it possible for evil to triumph. — Haile Selassie


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 via The Grieving Room newsletter via LinkedIn.

So, This Is America …

Land of the Free (laughable). Home of the Brave (how sure are we about that?). This … a country that would rather make it illegal for a woman or a person with a uterus to make their OWN decision about what to do with THEIR body because well, it can versus implementing gun laws that could save hundreds of thousands of lives.

America would rather see you carry a gun than ensure women have valuable healthcare as it pertains to their bodies.

Let that marinate.

*Comments are closed because I don’t feel like arguing with anyone who does NOT have a uterus or arguing with someone who DOES have a uterus but does not realize the impact this decision will have on everyone.

Motivational Affirmations To Self #3

Below, you will find a few affirmations I’ve been saying to myself daily and sharing them to LinkedIn. I hope you find them helpful, just as much as I have, and others too.

All positive affirmations created by Tremaine L Loadholt via the Create Quote app

I have been saying these affirmations to myself, and they have been helping. I’m actually on number 99, and when I have shared 100 motivational affirmations to myself, I’ll be done. Of course, I won’t stop speaking life into my heart and pulling some good energy into my realm, I’m just not going to be on a daily streak of sharing them anymore.

I had a goal; create and share 100 positive and motivating words with myself, and I have just about reached that. I am happy with this goal and I am even happier that I stuck with it for 100 days.

I hope these words of encouragement inspire you and lift you up in some way. We need a few anchors in our lives, especially now.

“Speak life, always speak life. The tongue should not hold death.”

The Grieving Room

Photo by Sara Bakhshi on Unsplash

It’s been nearly 20 years and I am drained.

As I listened to her breathe on the other end of the phone while I asked pertinent questions about the radiology procedures I was scheduling for her, I noticed a break in her responses. I paused. I could hear her softly crying and everything in me shifted. This had been a moment for me to turn up the sunshine — to be my whole and empathetic self — not to cry along with her, but to change the atmosphere. It had been my moment, as it has been hundreds/thousands of times, to lift the spirits of another.

When scheduling a newly diagnosed cancer patient, it is almost always emotional for me. The invasive procedures or radiology scans will soon become their norm, but upon that first scheduling experience, there are questions unfamiliar to them. Some things require responses that are sure to open and pour salt into fresh wounds. I could tell she had become exhausted and had probably had her fill with speaking to scheduling staff, medical professionals, and abiding by the oncologist’s recommendations.

It isn’t every day of your life prior to this “new thing” you have been tasked with answering, “Can you sit and stand without assistance?” or “Are you allergic to IV contrast?” or “Have you had any recent scans or procedures related to this condition outside of this organization?” I want to be quick, but I want to be thorough. I want to ensure the details of the procedures have been given, but I also want to recognize and feel where the patient is during our scheduling conversation.

And this lady, at 86, was not in a good place. And why should she be?

Mine was an unfamiliar voice to her. Regardless of how calming and reassuring I had been, I was still a stranger — giving her details for a nuclear medicine whole-body bone scan and a CT chest/abdomen/pelvis with contrast — both to be done in tandem, on the same day. I heard her sniffling and my mind nearly shut down. I had to think of something to get her back with me on the call — back to the place of acknowledgment of this damning reality, and I did it my way — the polite, comedic way.

“Ma’am. You let me know when you’re ready, and we’ll begin looking at arrival times which range from crack-of-dawn-early to just right after sunrise early, and we’ll go from there.”

When I heard her giggle and get herself back in sync with me, I chuckled too. I assured her our technologists would take great care of her and we could take the time we needed for the call. She had the floor. This had been her time to allow it all to sink in and marinate, and I would select the date and time when she was ready.

After the brief comedic segue, the appointment was scheduled, and I had to get her transferred to yet another department for another appointment. But I am not the type to simply cold transfer our patients. I want to be sure someone will be ready for them, and on the line, to get them scheduled. I informed her of this process by saying, “Now that my task is done for your radiology appointments, I will get you connected with another team member to schedule your last appointment. Is there anything else I can do to assist you at this time?”

She laughed — still caught off guard by the description of the times for her appointments with our department. I knew the call ended on the note it needed to when she said, “No, sweetheart. You have done all I need you to do today.”

It has been nearly 20 years in the medical field, and it is weighing on me — breaking me down in ways I never thought I would ever witness. I remind myself I am where I am called to be, but every time I do this, I feel as though I am reassuring myself for what, exactly? Why? If my heart was still truly in it, would I need this reassurance? Would it be required? If I wanted to continue in the medical field, shouldn’t it just all flow rhythmically and naturally, like water?


How a “Stanley Sugarman” quote made me think of her.

After I scheduled my patient mentioned above, I had another patient who had called to see if her orders had been ready for several MRI scans. She began the conversation by letting me know she had just had a stroke several weeks ago and the day before — woke up to complete blindness in her right eye. Her scans, she had been told, would be STAT requests and needed to be scheduled for the next day, which would have been Friday, June 17, 2022.

I had been gathering myself after the previous call, however; I needed to begin the search for her orders. Unfortunately, the orders had not been in the system, and after reaching out to the team to see if they had been in the queue or on the backend awaiting transcribing, they were not there either.

I cannot tell you the number of times I have to say, “I apologize. Unfortunately, we do not have any orders for your scans.” It is not something a nervous, suffering, and anxiety-ridden person wants to hear. What most patients want to hear almost all the time is, “I see your orders right here and we can proceed with scheduling your appointment.”

Upon hearing her orders had not been received, she told me of the suffering she had endured and how she was simply tired and wanted to know what was going on with her. As a patient with multiple sclerosis, having to undergo MRIs would not be her first rodeo, but total blindness in one eye was. How do I make this right? How do I again shift the atmosphere?

Before I could tell her what the next steps would be, she stated she would reach out to her referring doctor and see if they were, in fact, faxing her orders to our organization. I provided her with our fax number just in case the previous submission went to another department. I advised her of our office hours and informed her to please call us back as soon as she heard from her provider so we could proceed with getting her scheduled.

She had mentioned being told she may need to be admitted, and upon hearing this, I informed her the doctor recommending this would need to correspond directly with the admitting team at the hospital. She ended the call with me to pursue further investigation with her doctor’s office.

There are days that pummel me into submission — days when I feel as though I cannot hear about another grand mal seizure, stroke, aortic aneurysm, or the many forms of cancer metastasizing from one site to various other parts of the body. Days that seem to travel alongside each other sizing me up, testing my strength. This past week covered me in so many of these days, and I am just happy I made it through the week.

Last night, I watched the new Netflix movie starring Queen Latifah and Adam Sandler, Hustle, and I allowed myself to get lost in their veteran, consistently on-point talent for close to two hours. Adam Sandler’s character, Stanley Sugarman, says something that made me think of my cousin, and I shook my head as I heard him say it:

There was only one guy who knew what I was capable of, and he died. — Stanley Sugarman

I am capable of so much. I have far too many talents and gifts, and I know I can do something else that doesn’t eat away at my soul as much as the medical field is doing now. My cousin knew this. She drilled it into my head on the days I could not see the light at the end of the tunnel. These days, I replay her advice in my head — pulling the love she shared with me from the deepest places within me and allowing it to be a constant reminder.

I can still do what I want to do. I can still make it all happen. The question, though, is when?


When you need a pick-me-up, visit the babies.

I can always count on my baby cousins to light up my world. Spending time with them puts me in a whole other place — one where happiness seems to pull up next to me with little coaxing. Today, though, only one was home, but he was enough. Caison is growing up so fast, and I feel like time is being cruel with just how fast he’s growing. Every time I see him, he looks like he’s grown an inch.

The young one is full of energy, has an in-your-face personality, and still gives the best hugs a four-year-old will ever give. When I need a reminder of just how beautiful life can be, and how I am not meant to wallow continually in the dumps, I spend time with my baby cousins.

His mother is an expert hugger also, so I see where the ability comes from. I am blessed to have an affectionate family — to hear, “Text me when you get home” every time I turn my back to walk out the door. Sometimes, the babies will chime in, “Be safe!” and that makes it sweeter.

Visiting them rejuvenates me — stocks me with the will to go on and be so damn outstanding.


The week was hard, but it didn’t win.

I had a hard week but I am here to share it — I can talk about it. I am of sound mind, I still have a quick tongue, and my heart is full of love. This past week may have had me up against the ropes a few times, but it did not knock me out. We tussled in the ring for 8 rounds, and I lived to tell you about it.

It was a hard one, but it didn’t win.

Death is with you all the time; you get deeper in it as you move towards it, but it’s not unfamiliar to you. It’s always been there, so what becomes unfamiliar to you when you pass away from the moment is really life. — bell hooks


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.