The Grieving Room

What is my body trying to say?

It would be an understatement if I said this past week has been a pleasant week. Overall, it has been. It would not be an untruth — I’ve had more “on” days than “off”, and for this, I am grateful. However, grief is hitting me differently, and I have dealt with a few aches, pains, and discomforts as I try to move through each day as they come. At the closing of each night, just before I get into bed, I have noted how I feel — what my heart senses — how my body is trying to communicate with me. I am healing. There is no denying this, but something is pulling at me — something still has a major hold.

I mentioned in the previous installment about having to take a week away from social media and much of the online world, and I also took a day of bereavement from work early last week. There is no doubt in my mind that each of these things needed to take place. I had been feeling incredibly overwhelmed and sunken by the pull of sadness and an overall sense of exhaustion that cannot be described.

I catered to myself. I made myself a priority. The usual adulting things had to take place, but I set a goal for myself to “do nothing” in the evenings during my break away from the online world. And do nothing is exactly what I did. The following Monday, though, I hit the ground running once again, even pursued some more overtime at work, and this past Thursday, May 12, 2022, I started experiencing some nausea. By Friday, it was several trips to the bathroom that also ran into this morning.

Could this be my body’s way of telling me I bolted out of my period of rest too soon, or could I be experiencing the first few phases of burnout?

What is burnout and how do I resolve to not welcome it?

The Mayo Clinic defines burnout as:

Job burnout is a special type of work-related stress — a state of physical or emotional exhaustion that also involves a sense of reduced accomplishment and loss of personal identity.

“Burnout” isn’t a medical diagnosis. Some experts think that other conditions, such as depression, are behind burnout. Researchers point out that individual factors, such as personality traits and family life, influence who experiences job burnout.

Whatever the cause, job burnout can affect your physical and mental health.

I won’t delve into all the symptoms of burnout here — for those, you can read the list. I will mention the ones I am currently experiencing.

  1. I lack the energy to be consistently productive.
  2. I have found it hard lately to concentrate.
  3. My sleeping habits have changed.
  4. I have begun (again) to use food to feel better or change my mood.
  5. I have had several headaches, changes in bowel habits, and an overwhelming sense of fatigue for the past few months.

It is important for me to assess these things and understand why I am the current host of choice. Could they all just be lingering things occurring because of grief? Or, am I truly overdoing it and my body is on the verge of telling me, “SIT DOWN SOMEWHERE, NOW!”

I want to be wiser than the things currently happening, which is why I’ve reserved several days off from work in the coming months. We will have Memorial Day off, which is coming up shortly. I have requested Friday, July 08, 2022, and Monday, July 11, 2022, as well as two more days in August and a day in October. I rarely request this much time off from work, but I have well over 130 hours of PTO, and it is time I use it.

Maybe by doing this, I can curb any other symptoms from introducing themselves to me. *Fingers crossed*

Cooking as a gift to myself.

Recently, I have found it best to drain my sorrows in junk food, fast food, and all things unhealthy and this is something I must will myself to end. For a little over three years, I’d been on a path to eating more healthy foods, exercising, donating hours of self-care/self-love to myself, and cooking as relaxation. After my bout with my digestive system over the last few days, I have had enough.

I am resetting myself so my body will be kind to me again. I’ve purchased fresh ingredients and items necessary to make lasagna for dinner tomorrow. I will have steamed zucchini and squash as the vegetables. I will put forth conscious efforts to continue exercising and enjoying the sunny days “predicted” in the forecast.

Cooking is a gift I can give myself. I will know what I am putting into my system and what I plan to remove. It is relaxation I cannot describe adequately. When I am in my kitchen, listening to music, or to the pleasant birdsong I seem to get in my area, the meal I have in mind takes on a fantastical presence. I am shifted into a mini world of The Food Network, where I am an amazing chef and my viewers await my next recipe.

It lends me a sense of peace, and I know I need so much more now — it’s time I lean back into this talent I neglected.

Hello, body. I hear you.

The last few months have been hard. I am learning to face the things damaging to my mind, body, and heart head-on, and issue grace on a more frequent basis to myself. If my body is trying to say I am going in the wrong direction, it is time I shift it and get us back on the right path. I know my cousin would agree with me — my aunt, too. Realizing that their physical forms are no longer here with me for me to hug, hold on to, embrace, and welcome has given me a new sense of love for all living things.

I love my body. I want to give it what it needs, even if I am still carrying the weight of grief neatly on my shoulders. None of what I gift myself will be in vain. I know what I need to do now. Body, I hear you.

I will leave you with a quote I find applicable to today’s installment:

Breathe. Let go. And remind yourself that this very moment is the only one you know you have for sure. — Oprah Winfrey


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 Am Claiming My Happiness

A Snapshot

Friday is most often my favorite day of the week, but today, this Friday feels special. I woke up long before the cock of the crow–body clock had its own plans. There was a light mist in the air before the impending rain. A short walk with the dog presented a sense of presence–a sense of #relief.

I could feel it deep down in my bones–today is truly going to be a great day. I say so. I’ll make it so.

May Friday grant you whatever you may need today. I am claiming my happiness–I wish the same for you, too.


Originally shared via LinkedIn.


*The last five days have been the break I needed. Sometimes it’s best to step away from everything and feel EVERYTHING while it’s fresh and painful. I allowed myself the chance to move through the weight of bad news and still grieve without shame–without harming myself or others. A breath of fresh air is often more than simply inhaling the gifts around us. Thank you everyone for your kind words, thoughts, prayers, emails, etc. This is such an awesome community, and I’m grateful for it.

NaPoWriMo #29

the hump is hard to get over

One of the many text message exchanges between me and Chrissy.

just when I thought I was
having a decent span of
days in a row without breaking
completely down, I swiped
through some photos in
my phone and came across
a screenshot of a text message
from one of my greatest loves,
and the tears piled on like
never before.

I wanted to lift myself up from
the chair and summon relief.
my heart is in a million pieces
and it’s going to take time
to put it back together again.
I am jigsawed, an abandoned
puzzle with no box for storage.

her daughter–my beautiful little
cousin, keeps up with me,
sends “I love you” messages
from time to time, and “How are
you” greetings and I am holding
on to her as hard as I can.
eleven years stand between us.
I have memories of her mom
she’ll never know, but I share
them–in pictures, with words.

I see her now through
WhatsApp message exchanges
and videos, and as soon as I
am done feeling every inch
of her presence, I cry.
she is so much like her
mother–such an incredible
radiance fills the room.
I get lost in
her ramblings–awed by her
talents.

my grandmother calls to thank
me for her copy of October Star
and the first thing that leaves her
mouth is, “Tre, you look so much
like Chrissy,” and I can’t find
the words to acknowledge the
fact. Moments later, I pull
“Everyone said that” from my
soul and I let it linger in the
air that filled our pauses.

it is a hard thing to look
in the mirror and see the
person you loved so much
staring back at you, but you
can’t call her, can’t write to her,
can’t send her a text message–
can’t do a damn thing but
let life continue being life.

the hump is hard to get over,
and I wish I wasn’t heavy
on the struggling end, but
I’m trying. God knows I am.
and when my overwhelming days
hit me, I have to slap on
my big girl pants and move
through the hell of it because
the one person who talked
me down from a high ass
cliff isn’t around anymore.

and never will be.
and that is the hardest
pill I have ever hard
to swallow.

NaPoWriMo #27

you–with your back to love (revised)

the sun does not care
for past inflictions of pain
it’s a love-bringer

you–your back to love
tell me that I’ve lost my spark
the sun says, “untrue”

I believe the sun
it can be trusted with love
my spark is revealed

you shout these untruths
hiding behind your hard heart
I see right through you

NaPoWriMo #26

Jernee, sitting in the car while I gathered our things so we could leave the Vet’s office.

Aging Has Its Place (a one-lined poem)

The cataracts have fully-formed, her hearing is sub-par, the cystic tumor on her back, right paw coupled with her age aren’t the best candidates for surgery, yet she continues to give me joy and affection on the roughest of days; she always forgets her pain for me.