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.

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.

The Grieving Room

Getting out of my city for a small adventure

Photo by Karsten Würth on Unsplash

If you’ve ever felt trapped in your own home (Hello! … to probably all of you reading this newsletter) and got out to take a quick road trip by yourself during this pandemic, you’ve probably benefited more from it than you know. This past week has been a topsy-turvy one. However, it has not been one I couldn’t get through without a few short breaths and prayers to God to remind me I am still alive — still “movin’ and groovin’” and making this thing called life work for me.

After only visiting my mom, cousins, and a few friends and teammates here and there throughout this pandemic, I ventured out to a small town about 45 minutes away from where I live. Perhaps you’ve heard of Mount Airy, North Carolina, the birthplace of Andy Griffith? Many have stated the town is the blueprint for Mayberry on the Andy Griffith show. And let me just tell you — you know you’re in the country when a tractor pulls out in front of you to take over the road — never mind the fact you were there first.

Excuse me, Mr. Man on the tractor, please have at the entire highway strip — my pleasure — I do like my life.

During the trip there, I also saw a man riding an ATV 4-wheeler on the highway. No harm, no foul, homie. Please do you on this highway — on your 4-wheeler. I was in a zone, listening to Wale via Pandora, and neither one of these people was going to kill my vibe. I had one thought in mind — make it to my friend/co-worker’s home in one piece, and make it there in one piece, I did.


Friendship — what a beautiful thing.

I pulled up the rock-covered road to my friend Sarah’s place, put my car in park, got out, and embraced her for what felt like at least two minutes. I had not seen her in a year and eight months. I then hugged her mom, whom I probably haven’t seen in just over two years — then her dad, and then I gave my full attention to her sweet Golden Retriever puppy, Lily.

Dogs are amazing beings. If they instantly take to you, this says more about you than it does the dog. And I was truly happy to make Lily’s acquaintance. The excitement she had for me during our first meeting matched how Jernee reacts when I come back home to her. I was putty in her paws, and I believe she knew this.


Sweet Lily and I. She wouldn’t give me enough time to take off my shoes. She is the sweetest pup ever! Photo Credit: Sarah Culler. Used with her permission.

After I settled into loving Lily a bit, we ordered food, went to pick it up, and came back to my friend’s place to eat, chat, and enjoy each other’s company. I love being able to communicate with people freely — love it when there’s no filter and everyone can be expressive. Sarah and I have always been this way — at work — and outside of work. Her mom is just the same — salt of the earth people who do not bite their tongues, but have enormous hearts, too. It is in the hospitality offered. It is in the words spoken. It is in the love that is felt.

We then toured the city, which did not take long. We drove “Downtown” so I could see some of the major sites, the Andy Griffith mural, an old theatre, and plenty of people outside taking advantage of the beautiful weather today lent us. I am truly wary of crowds even more than I was before the pandemic, so this tour was in my friend’s car as we cruised her city without the hustle and bustle of the craziness a Saturday around hundreds of people can bring. I still like my space and I don’t want many people around me.

Time flew by so quickly, I headed back home to be with my own little monster. The trip was well-deserved and definitely long overdue. I needed it.


It comes and goes. I understand now.

I had a moment of wanting to text Chrissy some photos or send her a brief note that said, “Look, cousin! Look at what I’m finally doing,” and it’s almost as if I have to reset my brain every time this happens to me. I know I cannot talk to her anymore. I know I cannot send text messages to her phone number that I simply cannot bring myself to delete from my phone. I know there will never be another hug, kiss, or trip to Florida to bask in her presence. My mind knows this. It does.

My heart cannot catch up. It can’t. But I am still giving myself grace. I am still being gentle with myself. There are better days ahead and getting to them consistently again will take time. It will. I am patient with myself. I owe it to myself to be as patient as I am being — it is necessary.

But I understand now how grief can come tapping at your shoulder when you least expect it. I wave hello to it — offer it some coffee, break out the good china, and allow it to sit for a moment with me. I will play some music for it, cook it a good meal, take it for a walk, but I refuse … at this point now to allow it to drag me down. Could it be Chrissy speaking through me? I know it is. And I am listening.

You must go on adventures to find out where you truly belong. — Sue Fitzmaurice


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.

The Grieving Room

Getting through a tragic week without breaking down

I don’t need to say it. You don’t need me to say it. Getting through this past week has been hard. Our nation had already experienced one mass shooting that took place in Buffalo, New York on Saturday, May 14, 2022, only to have yet another stop us dead in our tracks on Tuesday, May 24, 2022, in Uvalde, Texas. Just 10 days later. I have no clue how you have handled dealing with or processing these two events, but for me, they have been racing rapidly through my mind and the ache from each is still strong.

I floated through most of the week, trying to find my footing — trying to make sure I could perform at my highest during work hours. I maintained a calm demeanor. I handled each call I took effectively and efficiently, according to the requests that had been made. There were moments when I had to say several silent prayers to push me through, but I made it through my workweek unscathed and alive to share this newsletter.

I saw this moment without completely breaking down. How did I do that? How was I able to stay afloat above the raging waters and vicious seas? Who was my life raft? I am so thankful for a supportive and loving group of people in my life who make their presence known — who sense my sadness. Without them, I am almost certain I could not press forward on the extremely hard days life hands out occasionally.

It’s been one hell of a week, but I’m still here.


My therapist knows I am emotionally free, and she doesn’t suppress it.

Tuesday, May 24, 2022, the same day as the most recent tragic incident, I kept my therapy session. Knowing it would be at a later hour that night (7:00 p.m.) after work and settling into the evening, I had to build up the energy to log on virtually to meet with her. I am still not comfortable venturing out to her office. Call me crazy, senseless, whatever label you deem necessary to choose, but my comfort level is best at home, and at home is where most of my therapy sessions take place now.

I need to be comfortable these days — I crave it, more so than I have in the past.

We began the session with me discussing what had taken place in the last few months as I had seen her on an “as-needed basis,” but it has become clear I need to pursue my once or twice per month sessions. Speaking about my cousin’s death, then my aunt’s, followed by this nation’s tragic events, sent shivers up my spine. I waded through intense moments of crying and finally got to a point where I could talk about my growth during all of this — how I feel my cousin with me — how I know she is still here.

Tuesday, May 24, 2022, before my therapy session. Photo Credit: Tremaine L. Loadholt

I talked about my cousin’s ways of loving — how she’d loved me and helped me so much during her short time on earth. I talked about the guidance I received, the advice, the strong opinions she had, and how we bounced ideas off of each other. I talked about her powerful presence, her love of children, and how anyone she came in contact with was left smiling — forever changed by her.

It is still hard to speak about my aunt. There had been so many years that had passed since I last saw her and every year between us was, “I’ve got to come and see you” or “I need to visit you where you are now,” and it never occurred. We allowed the miles between us to stay exactly that — miles between us. We did not move to close the distance, if only momentarily. And this is what I grapple with mostly — losing her without seeing her one more time.

As I cried and wiped my eyes, my therapist — although usually stoic — was shedding pieces of herself I hadn’t seen before. I apologized at one point because I couldn’t stop the tears from flowing and she said in a gentle tone to me, “Don’t you dare apologize — feel what you are feeling.” And I did. It was wholly and completely rejuvenating. Not to say that I still don’t cry in my aloneness here at home, no … I do from time to time, but to shed some of this weight in the presence of a professional listening ear was pertinent. It was what I needed, and I didn’t know it.


Another holiday is before us and I miss my people more.

With Memorial Day fast approaching, I feel the pain of these losses so much more. Each holiday that has passed since my cousin’s death (St. Patrick’s Day, Easter/My birthday, and her wedding anniversary) heightens my awareness of the finality of death, and it is a hard pill to swallow. No one could have prepared me for the extremely hard days. No one could have told me just how badly I would feel experiencing these significant days without her.

Death dates are now a part of my vocabulary. I speak in dates — when someone was living — when they died; what happened in between. Holidays are reminders of a loved one’s physical presence and form wiped away from my life. They all are merging into one — a day everyone knows about and celebrates, but I will mourn from this moment forward.

Knowing this truth, I believe it will be much more important to continue to be surrounded by family and close friends, which is why I visited my mom today. A few hours with her keeps me on my toes. The woman is a strong tower — being a holder of her past; I am aware of what my mom had to endure, and how she has conquered so much. We can be in the same room now and truly enjoy one another’s company. This only arrived with time and understanding and going through some heartache, pain, struggles, and rough periods myself.

We may have some differences, as I am sure most mother-daughter pairs do, but I am grateful for where we are now. I look forward to the upcoming holiday knowing that I will have her to call, at least, to share a significant date in time with — if only for a few moments.


I am a resilient person.

I have been through many things and I will go through many more, and if it is the Lord’s will, I will survive those things too, and come out on top. I believe this. What do you believe about yourself?

I will leave you with a quote that gave me pause — made me dwell on what I have, what I had, and what I might gain in life.

This world is a comedy to those that think, a tragedy to those that feel. — Horace Walpole


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 Newsletters via LinkedIn.

The Grieving Room

Good food, good times, and good grief

Homemade lasagna (non-traditional), steamed zucchini, and steamed squash. Photo Credit: Tremaine L. Loadholt

If you recall from the previous entry, I spoke about the desire to cook more. I wasted no time in making this happen. This past Sunday, May 15, 2022, I made lasagna for dinner. I did not do a traditional lasagna, and to be honest, most of what I make as typical dishes are “spruced up” a bit to reflect my tastes and what I enjoy eating. I had your usual game players in the mix, though; ricotta cheese, lasagna noodles, and tomato sauce. I opted for ground turkey as opposed to ground beef, and I also added steamed spinach with fresh garlic, and a cheese blend (complete with cheddar, Colby-jack cheese, and mozzarella.

I steamed zucchini and squash, keeping the seasonings simple for the two; pepper, salt, and cajun seasoning. As I prepared my dinner, I could feel the rhythm coming back to me — I was in extreme focus mode, and everything felt right. There was a connection I cannot quite explain. It was as if I was moving from the overwhelming phases of the previous week and leaning into what felt as if it would be a wonderful beginning to another. I offered a few words here and there to my dog as I paraded around in my kitchen doing what I enjoyed and missed most.

I was so happy with the results of the overall meal; I wanted to call my cousin and tell her. And that’s when it hit me . . . again. I could not call her. I could not share this moment with her, and I moved through the temporary sadness of it — knowing I could send up a prayer for grace, patience, and the ability to understand life’s finalities. I smiled, nodded, and said to myself, “She knows. She knows.”


Good grief, and the transition.

As I reflect on what took place, I am inclined to believe this was — all of this could be, the “Good Grief” stage.

Good grief is described by Cam Taylor as:

Traveling through the grief cycle without getting stuck or stalled.

Embracing the messiness and range of emotions during loss and recovery.

Leaning into the pain of loss and learning more about yourself and others.

The above is a part of “the journey we take as we work through the emotions associated with loss and sorrow”, which is “the grief cycle.” What I was experiencing as I realized I could not call my cousin to boast about my meal without completely and totally breaking down was good grief. The reality of it was facing me. I accepted it. I embraced it. Finally, I moved on from it.

Of course, I could not hear the joyous laughter on the other end of the phone as I raved about a meal I had never prepared that came out perfectly, but I remembered the times upon recollection when I could hear her voice — when I could talk to her about such things. It was a peaceful moment, kissed by subtle sadness, but peaceful.


Good food and what it has done for me.

I will rewind and share what I made for lunch on the same day as mentioned above. I knew I wanted a salad, and not just any salad — a salad similar to one I would normally order from a favorite local spot. I purchased the ingredients earlier that morning and began preparation for it around 12:30 p.m. I bought thinly sliced chicken breasts, 1 sweet onion, Green Oak living lettuce, 2 cucumbers, and ranch dressing. At home, I already had shredded cheese, apricots, and spinach.

A Spring Salad Collage. Photo Credit: Tremaine L. Loadholt

I used my air fryer to cook the chicken; which I seasoned lightly with salt, pepper, poultry seasoning, cajun seasoning, and fresh garlic. Once the chicken was nearly done, I began chopping up my vegetables and fruit. I was listening to the birds sing as they do around that hour of the day, and I had been in a delightful mood. Shortly after I was done with the vegetables, a close friend of mine called, and we talked until the chicken finished cooking.

I explained to her I was making myself a salad to which she expressed how much she loves salads, too. Next time she comes up, I will make one for her. I sent the photos above to her with a couple of others after we finished the call so she could see what I’d prepared for my lunch. It felt good to share something that was bringing me bits of joy — especially with this friend because she has known loss incredibly detrimental to her spirit more than once. I lean on her for an understanding of it all, sometimes. She knows the heavy weight this type of pain produces.

I did not think jumping into cooking or preparing good food again could inspire, move, shape, and encourage me. But it has. I will take all that it brings.


Good times, happy moments, and the gift of family.

Today, I went to visit a few of my cousins. I am blessed to have some family nearby, especially little ones. My youngest cousins in my area are ages four and six. The two of them are bundles of laughter, joy, energy, and come fully loaded with tons of questions. Entertaining is an understatement for these two. Whenever I am sad, a quick trip to be around my family and the little ones lifts my spirits. I do not take these hours of happiness for granted. They have been exactly what I have needed of late.

My best friend has also kept my incoming messages on the up and up with photographs and videos of her new puppy. It does my heart good to see this sweet, four-legged “Lil Miss Busy Body” pop up throughout the week at moments when I could use a pick-me-up. I have filled each day this past week with seconds, minutes, and hours of things to keep my mind steady and my heart from breaking.

I have gathered each event and logged them neatly into my memory bank. I will have each one as a reminder for retrieval when the roughness of the waters creeps up again. They will have no welcome mat at my shore.

This afternoon’s quote applies to today’s entry:

You don’t choose your family. They are God’s gift to you, as you are to them.¨ — Desmond Tutu


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 The Grieving Room newsletter via LinkedIn.