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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.

Jan 13, 2022

I have a confession to make. I have been lying to you all for almost two and a half years now. In my defense, I did not know that I was lying so I guess maybe technically, it is not a lie, but I do need to apologize regardless. I have said from the very first Always Andy's Mom podcast episode that when I looked for a podcast specifically for grieving parents back in May 2019, there were none out there. I was wrong. There was one at that time, and it is hosted by today's guest, Michael. 

Michael's precious daughter, Liel, was born with congenital heart disease, later was diagnosed with autism and in her teen years, developed epilepsy as well. Ultimately, in her teen years, Liel died from sudden unexplained death in epilepsy. Throughout Liel's life, Michael got to know others in the congenital heart disease community online while seeking support for Liel. Although Michael and his family are from Isreal, Michael got to know Anna Jaworski (from Texas) and her HUG Podcast Network (Hearts Unite the Globe). Anna currently hosts the podcast, Heart to Heart with Anna, for the congenital heart disease community.

As Michael will explain in today's episode, this relationship with Anna, led to them starting another podcast within the network, this time for bereaved parents. It is now called, 'Bereaved But Still Me' (although the original title was Heart to Heart with Michael which although a great title may have made it difficult for someone like me to find it). In this monthly podcast, Michael hosts a guest to discuss grief in a variety of ways. This month's guest is actually me so after listening today, you can pop over to his podcast and listen to another 30 minutes of us!

After speaking with Michael, now three different times, I can see why his podcast is starting its 6th year. He is amazing to talk to - one of those people that I would talk to for hours on end without tiring of it. Today, we talk about Liel, her life and death, his Jewish faith and Jewish customs that accompany his grief journey. At the end of today's interview, I immediately began thinking of reasons to invite him on for a second time.

I am happy to admit that Michael has proven that I am a liar. I am so glad that the HUG Network and Michael launched Bereaved But Still Me as a resource to help bereaved people all around the world. I am glad that many other podcasts now fill this space as well. The world certainly needs more hope and healing for grieving people, and I am glad that we can all do our part to help.