Preview Mode Links will not work in preview mode

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.

Apr 21, 2022

When I realized that Andy's 18th birthday was going to fall on a Thursday, and thus be a podcast release day, I knew that the episode would have to be devoted completely to Andy. I planned to arrange this amazing episode with recordings from all of the people who loved him. I wanted it to be absolutely perfect. As the day came closer, however, I found that I could not do it. The pain was just too deep - I was constantly crying, and I was putting way too much pressure on myself.

Last week, I tearfully opened up to Gwen, telling her what I had dreamed for the episode and of my disappointment in myself. She quickly volunteered to help and encouraged me to let go of all of the expectations I had for myself. She invited me to simply open up and talk about all of my feelings and to not hold anything back.

Normally, my episodes are recorded about a month before I release them. We have plenty of time to edit and I do this write-up after I listen to the entire thing one last time. This week is completely different. I am writing this out the night before I even do my interview. I have no idea how it will turn out. It will be published completely unedited. I don't really know if I will even be able to talk or if my emotions will be too overwhelming.

I do have a couple of special birthday messages to play including a rendition of Happy Birthday sung by Andy's old choir. I have not even had the courage to play that for myself yet because I know it will release a floodgate of tears. I have a few emails that will be read as well, but mostly, Gwen and I will just talk about my dear, sweet Andy and what this day and this whole time of year means.

I always try to make each episode as encouraging as possible, and I fear that I will not be able to do much of that this week, but I have to remind myself that grief cannot be tied up in a neat little package. Holidays and birthdays are hard. This week, Gwen is in charge, and I am being interviewed, and if I am a 'hot mess,' it is OK because grief IS messy.