#AtoZChallenge O is For Overwhelmed


During a scene in the 1989 movie, Steel Magnolias, Dolly Parton’s character, Truvy says, “I have a strict policy that nobody cries alone in my presence.”

Hi, I’m Truvy! 😀

When I sense deep, emotional pain in someone and it brings them to tears, I become instant cry-buddy.

I don’t feel the pain or its weight, and once the crying ends, I’m only left with concern for the person in pain. There are no other lasting effects for me.

That changed after Den died.

I couldn’t watch a movie or television program, read a book, or even chat with friends in my support groups. Anyone or anything dying triggered an instant meltdown that weighed me down for hours afterward.

It was overwhelming and exhausting.

For a while, I’d sit in my living room in silence for days, knowing even a news update could send me spiraling.

I also knew this was harmful to my mental health. Despite believing myself to be a strong person, I realized I was no match for full-on grief. I couldn’t beat it with mind-over-matter or fake my way through it.

After several useless doctor appointments with my former PCP—yeah, had to get rid of her—I entered counseling.

Miracle cure? Fast road to healing?


I still get overwhelmed, and maybe I always will.

I can’t control the triggers or emotions they release, but I can control my response to them.

And that is making all the difference.


On May 30, 2019, I lost Dennis, my husband of over thirty-five years. Ten short weeks later on August 18, 2019, I lost my eighty-four-year-old mother. My grief journey has not been an easy one. While we know grief has five stages, there are many situations and feelings some bereaved never get to express, and I’m using my first AtoZ Challenge to say things I’ve never been able to give voice to. I hope you’ll follow my journey.


atoz badge 2021


Image from Pinterest


4 thoughts on “#AtoZChallenge O is For Overwhelmed

  1. Hi Felicia,

    Wow, this is so sad and my heart definitely goes out to you and the family. Oddly enough, this post resonated with me on such a deep level. I am also one that never really felt a deep, soul wrenching pain before. I mean, I was there for others and I offered solace, but when my niece and nephew’s father passed away, and then three months later my dad passed ..I felt such tremendous hurt and pain.

    Now, when I hear of someone losing a loved one, or if they are crying and hurt, I hurt with them. I still rarely shed tears, but sometimes I do and at least now I can sympathize and empathize.

    Liked by 1 person

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