Saying Goodbye to The Grieving Room

For those of you who subscribed to The Grieving Room newsletter and have followed me throughout this journey for the past four months, thank you.

Grief is a lifelong process with many obstacles and various structures and forms and I doubt there will ever be an endpoint, but I feel as though the newsletter itself deserves an endpoint.

There will always be something creative flowing within me to work through grieving, whether it be poetry, creative non-fiction, or a memoir-like essay, but at this time, I have shared what I can and I will continue to learn what I can about grief and grieving and grow with every experience.

If you recently subscribed, you can find all entries in the links below via LinkedIn or Medium.

Thank you for coming along on this journey with me. It will not stop, but I am headed down a new path and this is my place to get off and possibly transfer.

Peace and blessings.

LinkedIn or Medium.

The Grieving Room

Summer Trees Photo Credit: Tremaine L. Loadholt

Pictures tell the stories we can’t seem to share

I had one rollercoaster of a week. Work was hectic until Thursday afternoon. We had major issues with our phones and there had also been some connectivity issues which made our jobs extremely difficult. When your main priority is to answer phones and schedule patients for radiology scans and invasive procedures, not being able to effectively and efficiently do this for nearly a week had been mind-altering … and not in a good way.

I don’t know what had me on the verge of breaking down on Wednesday afternoon— it could have been the frustration of dealing with the issues with the phones and software or the weather (it has been raining off and on here for nearly two straight weeks), but I felt a weight overcome me that I just couldn’t shake.

Thankfully, I was keying in contact letters for unresponsive patients and had a moment to allow the tears to flow. 

When this form of emotion hits me out of nowhere, the first thing I want to do is … text or call my cousin. It is still hard for me to force myself into the action of not thinking about her to call or text — I am trying but it is far too hard to remove from my mind.

I often wish there was a switch — one I could flick off — one I could use to remove the thought from my mind so that it never occurs again because when it happens, the sea of sadness becomes my wading pool.

I am moving through it all as best as I can. One thing is for certain, I am glad the workweek is behind me.


A few photographs and a visit with one’s mom can renew the spirit

One thing that did help me through this week had been taking pictures of various things that make me happy or cause me to pause and reflect on life’s happenings for just a moment. The following photos are the results from this past week.

Summer Trees 2 Photo Credit: Tremaine L. Loadholt. 1 of two (the cover photo is also one) photos taken during a morning walk with Jernee from this past week.
Summer Trees 2 Photo Credit: Tremaine L. Loadholt. 1 of two (the cover photo is also one) photos taken during a morning walk with Jernee from this past week.
Jernee Timid, relaxing on the floor at my mom’s house. Photo Credit: Tremaine L. Loadholt
Jernee Timid, relaxing on the floor at my mom’s house. Photo Credit: Tremaine L. Loadholt
Jernee Timid in her car seat on the ride home from visiting my mom. Photo Credit: Tremaine L. Loadholt
Jernee Timid in her car seat on the ride home from visiting my mom. Photo Credit: Tremaine L. Loadholt
Cloudy Pool. I snapped this shot coming up the stairs of my building. Another cloudy day — just before the rain. Photo Credit: Tremaine L. Loadholt
Cloudy Pool. I snapped this shot coming up the stairs of my building. Another cloudy day — just before the rain. Photo Credit: Tremaine L. Loadholt
My mom’s plant — in the hallway of her building. I have no clue what type of plant this is. I just love it. Photo Credit: Tremaine L. Loadholt
My mom’s plant — in the hallway of her building. I have no clue what type of plant this is. I just love it. Photo Credit: Tremaine L. Loadholt

To shake some of the “stank” off me from this past workweek, I took a trip to Greensboro, North Carolina, to spend some time with my mom. Visiting my mom allowed both me and Jernee to truly kick back and relax at her place while we gave her our utmost attention. 

After dealing with everything that took place this past week, seeing her face and listening to her talk 100 mph did my entire being some good. 

I think Jernee agrees too.


Appreciating the beauty all around me

Now that the past week is behind me and a few emotional moments have been curbed, I am bracing myself for whatever is to come for the rest of this weekend. 

I don’t plan on doing too much for the rest of the day, and the only things I intend to do for tomorrow are to wash my hair and cook dinner (I am still thinking about what I will make). Aside from the normal little things I do on Sunday, these will be the only two add-ons.

I have enjoyed looking up, around, and within my line of sight to capture God’s creations, however major or simple. Sometimes we need pictures to tell the stories we cannot seem to share. I think the photos above have epic tales to tell. Don’t you?

“A good snapshot keeps a moment from running away.” ― Eudora Welty


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

©2022 Tremaine L. Loadholt Originally published in The Grieving Room newsletter via LinkedIn.

The Grieving Room

Photo by Andre Hunter on Unsplash

Learning to love the dead without forgetting them and experiencing life’s gifts in waves

If I have loved you and lost you, I will not forget you. It is impossible to do so. But I have a bad habit of letting loss stay with me more than I think it should. I cradle it — provide comfort for it — beg it to stay for more than just a little while. And therefore, it is hard for me to live life at its highest point because there is always an air of extreme sadness hanging over me whenever I lose someone I love or was deeply connected to.

What we once enjoyed and deeply loved we can never lose, for all that we love deeply becomes part of us. — Helen Keller

When I am assessing a situation and I have my wits about me, I know how to maneuver through that situation. I can design plans to resolve issues and problem solve to the best of my ability for a considerably desirable outcome.

With the death of a loved one, though, there is no immediate resolution on how one should grieve/heal/cure the pain that pops up at all hours of the day without warning.

A favorite song can help with the aches. An animated movie can send me directly to my happiest place and distract me. Time well spent with Jernee, my dog, sometimes gives me the calming energy I need to push through the roughest parts. But I have not found the master plan to deal with death appropriately, and I doubt I ever will.

And my cousin’s death has settled in my spirit — becoming one with my entire identity, and there is no breaking away from it. Upon reading and researching timelines, expectancy dates, and most appropriate grieving process lessons, I came across something referred to as Complicated Grief.

The grieving person must travel through the grief process, and should be allowed to move through it at their own pace. For some people, the grieving process can go on for a long time. This happens more often when a person was very close to the deceased. Sometimes this leads to what is known as complicated grief.

If what’s considered to be “normal grieving” does not occur, or if the grieving goes on for a long time without any progress, it’s called “complicated grief” or “unresolved grief.” Symptoms of complicated grief might include:

Continued disbelief in the death of the loved one, or emotional numbness over the loss
Inability to accept the death
Feeling preoccupied with the loved one or how they died
Intense sorrow and emotional pain, sometimes including bitterness or anger
Unable to enjoy good memories about the loved one

And after going through the explanation and details of complicated grief, I know it does not relate to me. What I am experiencing is just good, old-fashioned grief, coming in waves. Or a continuation or replay of the stages or me getting past one stage and reverting to it unbeknownst to my doing so.

I am still learning to give myself some grace — to be gentle and patient — to feel every emotion as I should and not ridicule or belittle myself for remaining in one stage longer than I believe I should. I am getting through as best as I can, and this is the most important part.


I am protected in my happy place

Earlier this week, I watched Back to the Outback on Netflix and enjoyed every moment. It’s an animated film about several “dangerous” creatures determined to find their way back to lives they’ve never known before being placed in captivity for showcasing to draw crowds in Australia. Hence the title, Back to the Outback.

If I am watching cartoons or animated movies, I am centering myself in my happy place where I feel most safe. It is the place I never want to leave and only do so to continue with adulting.

If I could, I’d be a professional connoisseur of animated films or an animated film critic. I envy people who actually get to explore this type of lifestyle — to do what they love all day long and remain happy during the process.

It is hard to pursue life’s goals, be financially stable, and enjoy life to the fullest when most of your day is dictated by something you used to love, but only do now in order to make ends meet.

Here’s the trailer to the movie, just in case you might be interested:

Back to the Outback, Netflix, ©December 2021

My therapy sessions remind me that life is for the living

And if I am honest, this is one thing I have to link myself to.

I am alive. I should be living.
I am alive. I should be living.
I am alive. I should be living.

I have made it a point to say the above affirmation to myself occasionally. Sometimes, I need a reminder. Other times, I am far too busy doing things that require me to stay above water and in the right frame of mind. I drift into a removed place where I am dreaming more than I am living.

My mind is full of Do This and Do Thats and I rush to make sure I can fit everything I need to do on a common weekday. It is exhausting. This — what I have been doing for the last three years, is not living. I am merely surviving.

“You crossed my mind the other day, Tre, as I was listening to the radio and an advertisement played about a writing group retreat. I instantly thought, ‘This would be great for Tre’!” — My therapist.

And as we discussed the advertisement she heard, my heart became full of hope and determination. But my therapist can get a little carried away and excited and she does not remember the source or any contact information but stated she will have a pen and paper ready to jot it down when she hears it again.

She has been great in circling me back to key points that have been helpful over these last three years, and more importantly, these last five months. I am meant to live. I should be out there living.

Shouldn’t all of us who still have air in our lungs and desire in our hearts be doing the same thing?

He who has a why to live can bear almost any how. — Friedrich Nietzsche


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.

I Wish You Were Still Here

A Lamentation for Chrissy

Photo by Eye for Ebony on Unsplash

And I’m not lying.
I tell people, “I’m trying”
because really, I am.
But my heart breaks every
single day still, and it feels
like I’m watching the
world crumble before
my eyes.

People don’t want to be
around the grieving ones.

It puts them in a place
of discomfort — shifts them
from good times to
“Is this still happening?”
and since I can’t quite
answer their questions,
I bubble up in the safety
of my home and swat
at the hard times slowly
creeping up my stairs.

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
body.

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

I am told it’s okay
to struggle — to flounce about
with my head bowed, searching
for the writing in the dirt
under my feet.
Where there’s dust, there also
will I be …

I don’t want to dissolve
into the muddy waters
of this stomach-churning
world, so I pull myself
out of the quicksand of
despair and snail on
while I still can.

I wish you were still here.
I am second-guessing myself
again. It’s almost like
a default setting, and
every time I try to move
through it, I sink even
deeper.

I have trouble
seeing past my most
hated self — it’s hard to
shove that part of me
deep into a closet
and throw away the key.

I feel like I have to
soon, though.
Because if I don’t,
the sun will back away
from me and never
lay itself at my heels again.
And that, my beautiful cousin,
would be a life I
don’t want to live.

I love you.
I always will.


Originally published in soliloque via Medium.