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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 19, 2021

This episode of the Always Andy's Mom podcast focuses on relationships and loss. Today, I have the privilege to speak with two guests mourning the loss of two special people in their lives. Just over one year ago, Nicholas (Nico) and his 4 year old son, Julian (Juju), were killed in a car accident when they went out for a quick trip to get ice cream. In a moment, the lives of the two women who loved them most were changed forever.

Janie lost her son and grandson while her daughter-in-law, Andrea, lost her husband and son. Both were experiencing tremendous loss with the deaths of these two amazing people. Janie originally reached out to me, but knew that she couldn't do their story justice unless Andrea joined her. It is so beautiful to hear about them from two different perspectives, to hear about the little boy and the man and father Nico grew to become as well as learn more about young Juju and his developing personality.

This conversation really shows the differences between people who mourn the same person. Andrea's loss of a son is different than the loss of her husband. Janie's loss of her son is different than the loss of her grandson. This is not to say that one is better or worse than the other, but they are different. I actually noticed that the time when these two women seemed the most similar is when they were discussing their grief regarding the loss of their sons.

This demonstrates even more the importance of grieving parents bonding together and relying on each other for support. It often does not matter the ages or the circumstances of the loss; they were our children. Family members have their roles in supporting us while other bereaved parents have a slightly different role. Perhaps that is why Janie and Andrea are so good for each other. They can be both.