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Losing a Child: Always Andy's Mom

As a pediatrician, married mom of three biological children and one foster son, my life was busy, rushing off to my office four days a week, seeing patients for three and working as a medical director of a local physician organization for one. I balanced this with rushing off to shuttle my kids to after sports and other after school activities. All of this changed one day in August of 2018 when my 14 year old son, Andy, was killed in a car accident. I felt like my life was over, and in some ways it was over, and a new life was forced to begin in its place. 

Grief is seldom discussed openly in our culture, and the death of a child makes people feel even more uncomfortable. On this blog and podcast, ‘Losing a Child: Always Andy’s Mom’, the topic is approached openly and honestly, speaking to people who have lost loved ones and experts who help care for them. Whether you are a parent experiencing loss or someone who wants to support another going through this tragedy, this blog and podcast strives to offer hope and help.

Aug 12, 2021

Two years ago, when I started the Always Andy's Mom podcast, I never could have imagined getting to episode 100. I remember Eric saving the first episode on the computer which he named 'Episode 001.' I thought it was ridiculous that he would put three digits. I never expected that first digit would ever be anything other than a zero, but here we are. As of this moment, the podcast has over 72,000 downloads in 78 different countries. It is bigger than me. It is even bigger than Andy.

Today's podcast episode is far different than the others. It is a recording of a livestream event that Eric and I did last night. On it we talk about these two huge milestones occurring within days of each other - the 3 year anniversary of our accident and the death of Andy and the celebration of 100 episodes of the podcast. The timing of these events truly feels meant to be. It absolutely was not planned in any way. In fact, if I had not taken off the week of Christmas my first year and 2 weeks early in the pandemic last year, these events would have been almost a month apart.

It seems fitting somehow that they are happening at the same time. August is now incredibly difficult for me. I am constantly reminded of the things that 'should' be happening. Andy should be 17 years old. He should be starting his senior year of high school. He should be looking at colleges. He should be like other teens complaining about the pandemic and what the experiences it has robbed from him. Yet, life is far, far different for us than the way it 'should' be.

This 100 episode milestone, however, distracts a little bit from all of those things. Today, I honestly have visions of Andy running around heaven telling absolutely everyone how excited he is that his mom is on Episode 100! That vision of Andy makes me smile - the vision of him talking with the children of all of these amazing parents I have met over these past two years. Yes, I think there may be just a little more laughter in heaven today caused by my Andy and his infectious smile.