Motivational Affirmations to Self

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.

Each day, I try to find something positive to remind me that life is still worth living. These affirmations come to me because I think about my cousin’s incredible spirit and her undeniable knack for making others feel good, and because I have also been reading/listening to a few “Grief” devotionals via my Bible app.

I’ve another appointment with my therapist next Tuesday, at 7 p.m. Lord knows I love our sessions. I think I am going to need this one so much more than any other because this week has TRIED my patience. Seriously. I am glad I have my memories, these thoughts, some tools, and a loving and supportive tribe.

Healing is a journey. I think I am on the right path.

The Grieving Room

The inevitability of life ending should not end you

Photo by Ryan Gagnon on Unsplash

We moved through several tornado warnings yesterday in my area and all I could truly think about was seeing the sun once again when it peeked through the clouds. How odd, isn’t it? To wish for the sun in the middle of a torrential downpour with looming tornadoes lurking in the distance? I guess I can describe it as odd, but when I take a step back and look at the entire picture, perhaps not. I feel as though I have been escaping several tornadoes of my own — lifely tornadoes.

It is my belief that we, as human beings, have been programmed to wish for the light in the middle of darkness. We prefer happiness over sadness — a great outlook on life instead of a painful one — a successful career as opposed to a flighty one that leaves consistent income as a mere thought and not a reality. We want these things to be near the positive end of life’s spectrum, yet we often forget that in order for there to be balance, we need the downs and the ups. We have to brace ourselves for the lows in order to find ourselves on the high end once again. This is the way of life.

Death is inevitable — we can never stop it.

I recently lost my aunt, my mom’s older sister — on the tail-end of losing a writer friend — on the tail-end of losing my older, favorite cousin. There has been a death of a loved one each month so far this year except in January. When one pulls all this information and losses in order to register them properly, it’s hard to digest. On top of these not-so-happy experiences, the average workday still had to occur.

On Tuesday, May 3, 2022, I took a bereavement day. I had phone calls to make on behalf of my mother — people to “fill in” regarding the news. I checked on my grandmother and my uncle to see if I needed to take on any of the tasks to lighten their loads. I kept up with my mom, (who is dealing with this oddly) to be her sounding board and listening ear. Plainly put, I had things to do — death did not stop me.

Wikipedia defines death as:

Death is the irreversible cessation of all biological functions that sustain an organism.

“The irreversible cessation . . .” Although death has taken place so much it seems recently, life continues. There are things that have to be done — need to be done and without these things, I cannot live the life I agreed to ensure for myself.

Take a break when you know you need to.

I found it best to take a temporary leave away from social media and writing platforms. A clear head was what I needed. I wanted to be readily available for family and friends and of a sound mind if I were called upon. I was. And this meant more to me than something I am sure I can log in to check from this point forward. There was no emergency online — nothing that needed my immediate attention. Everything likened to some form of interest to me is still here — still thriving.

It had been of the utmost importance for me to pull away, listen to my heart and mind, and sustain myself at all costs. The weight from the heaviness of multiple losses has no description. There are no words. I am reminded of my father — an Episcopalian minister/elder who says about death: “Baby, death is a life coming to its end, and there’s nothing that can be done about it.” No truer words have been spoken. We can try our best to stave off death or stare it down in its face as long as we have the willingness to fight it, but if it is time — your time — my time, it will happen. On this, you can be certain.

You fell. Get back up.

The fall came before I could measure it. I used to call it “The Downing,” when I was prone to slipping into depressive states. But it came. This time, I am unsure if I should credit growth, overall satisfaction with my life, or the understanding of more things now that I am older, but I did not stay knocked down. I lunged my body upward, shook myself stable, and soldiered on with what feels like a higher purpose.

I refused to let the inevitability of life ending end me. Each of these people are lovely, and I have wonderful memories of them. I have photographs, stories, email exchanges, visits, and phone calls, and every single one of these memories is now filed in my mental log for future recollection. I am, however, taking baby steps. I am not running at this point, no . . . I am walking casually along this path while I allow myself to grieve wholeheartedly.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” — Jeremiah 29:11, NLT


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.

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.

The Grieving Room

Photo by Alex Green via Pexels

The beginning of a lifelong process and the space in which to do it.

It is not always easy to listen to what pushes and pulls in this mind of mine, but I experienced a loss so gargantuan to me recently, that I am now compelled to find avenues, outlets, and ways to catapult myself from the depths of the darkest pits to survive the loss — become one with the loss — move on from the disabling effects of the loss.

To say that I endured the death of someone close is an understatement; it does not completely encompass from what my heart is trying to heal. There is no proper way to describe, let’s say, on a scale of one to ten, just how crucial this loss is.

On February 18, 2022, I muttered my last “I love you” to my closest cousin — one of the greatest loves of my life. She had been significantly older than me, so she mothered me — nurtured me — allowed me to be guided by her.

She could rain down love without being coaxed or manipulated. It simply fell out of her and onto/into you without caution. If you loved her or had been loved by her, you knew it. You felt it. There was no reason to question this love. It was genuine and given with every ounce of her being.

Every single day now since the day of her death has been an excruciating trial in living. There are days I say to myself, “You’re fine. You’re doing just fine.” And on those days, I do feel a sense of all-rightedness, but as a whole, they — those days are fleeting. I have had to learn how to swim in choppy waters — maneuver through bone-chilling nights — slide myself out of bed, press my feet onto the floor, and push myself up and out slowly; attempting to gauge just how my body and mind feel when beginning a new day.

What I am learning about grief.

Grief, as described by Psychology Today, is

The acute pain that accompanies loss. Because it is a reflection of what we love, it can feel all-encompassing. Grief is not limited to the loss of people, but when it follows the loss of a loved one, it may be compounded by feelings of guilt and confusion, especially if the relationship was a difficult one.

How am I grieving? How am I mourning? I have to strip bare — down to the bones of myself and cry when the tears fall. I allow myself the time and space to break down — literally feel every emotion that comes at me during those moments. I am using writing as a tool — an outlet to get me through the hardest parts of this journey. There are days when all I can do is write poem after poem in honor of/for her. If there’s a song I want to hear — one that reminds me of her gentle ways — her kindness, I play it. If there is a meal I want to eat to pull her into my space for the enjoyment of my evening, I will cook it.

I am wading through these waters as best as I can because the hard truth is, even though I have had other significant deaths in my life, none of them have affected me the way this one has. Learning to be gentle with myself as I create or allow words to spill out of me, detailing my thoughts or describing various emotions, is key. A learning curve has been assigned because this will never be perfected.

The goal? To wake up feeling less heavy than I did the day before. I want to breathe and not risk passing out. I intend to grow in both mental and physical preparedness for my world without her. In order to do this, any of it, I must grieve — in its most wholly and authentic form, and not feel ashamed of it.

How does this pertain to you?

It is, I am certain, probably safe to say many of you reading this article have experienced some form of grief. Perhaps you are trying to move through the hell of it right now. Maybe you haven’t found the sure footing you thought you would have under you at this point. Or is it possible you’re not giving yourself the time you need to grieve, mourn, and properly feel or experience your loss?

This newsletter will be a weekly synopsis of how I am moving through the hell of it all. It will also be a space for you, should you feel so inclined, to share your thoughts, moments of progress, despair, etc. in the comments as discussion.

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

See you next Saturday.


Originally shared via LinkedIn.