Gold STAR parent BLOG


After a recent trip to New York City, Beth and I were both hit with a sinus infection that at times knocked us to our knees. We received lots of support and love from our friends and family, but the mucus didn’t care about the support. How can one small part make your entire body miserable and sore?

Because your entire body is focused on helping that one part that is actually functioning as it should; trying to rid your body of an infection by flushing it with tons of mucus. Bleh.

It’s been a week, and we’re both weak from coughing, blowing our noses, taking medications and trying to function like we do when we’re perfectly healthy. Work has to be done. Chores still need to be done, laundry needs to be done, trash taken out, pets need to be taken care of, meals still have to be prepared and then cleaned up afterwards; but it feels like we’re moving through molasses.

It’s all very reminiscent of the grief process.

A grieving person just doesn’t have the energy—or the will—to cope with normal, day-to-day routines. And like sinus infections, what may help one person is not necessarily the correct remedy for another.

Caregivers have my utmost respect. I get frustrated just trying to take care of myself, much less someone else. So, if someone you love is going through their grief process, please give them as much love and patience as you can spare. They will likely brush you off, or ask you to just leave them alone. They truly feel that their “broken heart” cannot be fixed. We all know that small organ is not the cause of the pain. It’s not what’s causing the body to fail to respond. It’s not flushing their entire body with inhibiting mucus. It’s just a way to embody the emotional strain of grief.

Post Traumatic Stress can cause your brain to malfunction. It’s not like a stroke which can physically affect parts of your nervous system, but it’s pretty close. It will cause you to forget, it will cause you to stumble, it will cause you to disregard things that you once loved. It will make you feel like you’re trying to walk upstream through a river of molasses. It is exhausting.

There’s no remedy. There’s no hot-toddy in the world that can clear the grief-mucus from your head. But there is help. If you’re reading this, you are either hurting or know someone that is. Look to our resources page on this website. You’ll be surprised at the number of people who truly care.

Our grief-mucus is going on eight years, now. To us, it’s been an eternity. There are some who have just begun grieving and there are some who have been grieving two or three times that long. There will be days it will weigh you down and you will feel like you’re being smothered and then there are those amazing days when you can actually breathe. You don’t have to fight by yourself. You have an entire body of people that want to help you fight your grief-mucus. Think of us as your own personal Neti Pot!

Okay. Maybe not. That sounded better in my head.


This website When Our Blue Star Turned Gold tells SSG Bryan Burgess’ story and to honor his sacrifice while helping other Gold Star families navigate their own journeys and inspire them to tell their stories so others will understand and appreciate the true cost of freedom. 

Note: Information on the website is provided for the sole purpose of assisting you in finding additional resources (information, meetings, books, etc.) to aid in the bereavement process. (Please see our mission statement.) . This website is not intended to endorse, sponsor or encourage your use of any of the information or services listed, whether from members or other individuals. Rather, our intent is simply to inform you of the vast amount of resources available for your consideration. We urge you to independently research and consider the value any particular resource for yourself. Further, while we take steps to ensure accuracy of the information posted, especially relative to linked media, we accept no liability for content.