Editor’s note: Today marks the fifth anniversary of the death of writer/advocate Melissa Moore’s infant son, Greyson. Grey was born with hypoplastic left heart syndrome, a congenital heart defect. After his death, Melissa fought to change Oklahoma hospital regulations to require pulse oximeter screening. She also founded Greyson’s Advocates, a non-profit foundation to aid families with children in medical crisis. In this piece, Melissa talks openly about the ebb and flow of her grief, and offers encouragement to other parents struggling to survive survival.
By Melissa Moore
Melissa Moore and Greyson Moore
When our youngest son, Greyson, went into the hospital, lots of things became unimportant; yardwork, housework, basic maintenance and upkeep on our house and property, yes, but on ourselves as well. And once he died, well, my husband, Austin, and I were lucky to get out of bed every day and do all the other things expected of us.
Then, a few months back, I proudly declared on Facebook that I felt like a fog was lifting. A grief fog that I hadn’t even noticed was there.
Here’s something you may not know about deep grief, unless you’ve lived it: it is a living organism. It constantly changes, evolves. The first few months were unbearable. I think my husband would agree that if we didn’t have our older son to take care of, I’m not sure we would have lived through it. But having something to focus on made us keep trudging along. Eventually the day-to-day banalities of life get easier to bear, and then you find your “new normal” and settle in. Most of the time you appear to be a normal person, people who didn’t know you before may not even know what you’ve been through (and those who were acquaintances may forget).
But don’t get too comfortable, because you can be going along at a good pace and WHAM! A grief trigger. And sometimes those triggers are the strangest, most unrelated-to-your-situation events, or sights, or sounds, or smells… . And when one hits you, all bets are off. The “mini you” who lives inside your head has put on her pajamas, grabbed a bottle of wine from the fridge and crawled into bed with it and a huge box of chocolates. She is crying her eyes out, whether you are crying on the outside or not. Continue Reading