(MAINNEWS) – “Real Housewives of Orange County” alum Gretchen Rossi is mourning the “unbearable” loss of her stepson Grayson Alexander, who died on Sunday at age 22.
The former reality TV star, 44, took to Instagram on Tuesday to reveal the heartbreaking news following his long battle with brain cancer.
“Our rational minds told us this day might come, but our hearts always held onto the hope that this day would not come to fruition 💔,” she began her post, which was made up of pictures of Grayson with his dad, Slade Smiley, 49.
“We are beyond devastated and heartbroken over the loss off Gray. 😔 Grayson Arroyo-Smiley was such a special human being. He was an Angel on this earth and an incredible warrior…a warrior like no one has ever seen before. He fought everyday through his pain and discomfort to find joy in the smallest of things. He was always singing & dancing & laughing despite his circumstances.”
She went on to describe him as a “true beacon of light and hope,” noting that “he made an incredible impact on so many people.”
The mom of one continued, “The Lord knew his life had purpose and would touch many along the way. We are forever grateful for the many lessons learned from this little man, and will miss his beautiful spirit immensely.”
She further asked for “the Lord [to] hold him in his hands, renew his broken body, and give him life again 🙏🏻.”
“This isn’t goodbye but rather see you soon little man…..We love you Grayson. You will forever be in our hearts ❤️,” she concluded the post which was a joint statement from her, Smiley and their daughter, Skylar Gray.
Rossi and Smiley — who have been together for 13 years — share daughter Skylar Gray, 3, whom they welcomed after a lengthy IVF journey. Her middle name is actually in honor of Grayson.
Grayson’s mom and Smiley’s ex-wife, Michelle Arroyo, also confirmed the news on her social media, giving more information about his passing.
Arroyo — who also shares son Gavin, 29, with Smiley — told her followers that his death was “unexpected” as “he was doing much better” after he battled fevers, infections and low potassium, which “most likely took a toll on my sweet boys heart.”
She detailed, however, that on Sunday, “his heart stopped here at home” and she performed “chest compressions to get it going until the paramedics arrived and took over.”
They managed to bring him back and “when he left for the hospital he looked good and was breathing on his own but his heart gave out again at the hospital.”
She added, “I’m still in shock and going through the motions of dealing with all the details. I know Gray is playing cards with Gramma and playing Trouble with our beloved Diane. His dog Mo is right at his side as he never left him.”
Rossi appeared in “RHOC” from Season 4 to Season 8.
By Sophia Melissa Caraballo Piñeiro