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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.

Sep 23, 2021

When someone asks you how you are doing, what is your response? I know that for most people, even bereaved people, the quick answer is, "Fine." (I learned today a great acronym for FINE - Feelings I'm Not Expressing.) Inwardly, we may wonder, 'Do you really want to know or are you just making polite conversation?' We don't want to open ourselves up to the many people who would truly be uncomfortable if we are honest with them. We want to be sure that they will be supportive first, but how can we really know the answer to that question?

On today's podcast, Gwen and I discuss the topic of who can support us as grieving people and how we can help others be more equipped to help us. Let them know that we don't want them to try to fix us, just be there with us. Grief is something that must be worked through, and it is so much easier if you are not alone. We need to work to find the right people to help us on our healing journey. Honestly, they may or may not be the people we expect. Sometimes, friends and family cannot support us in the ways that we need. It is necessary to go outside our inner circle to find help. Support groups, social media groups, friends of friends - it takes some bravery to branch out like that, but it can be so rewarding.

As an aside, Gwen and I will now be doing all of our podcast episodes as Livestream Events that can be seen on the Always Andy's Mom Facebook page, YouTube channel or on Gwen's grief-guide Facebook page. In this way, we will be able to answer listeners questions right away giving us an even better sense of community. The next Livestream will be on Tuesday, November 16th at 8pm Eastern time. The topic will be on how grieving people can get through the holiday season.