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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.

Dec 12, 2019

Until a few weeks ago, I had never heard of the term, reiki. I noticed that I was being followed by a woman on Twitter, @GriefReiki. I began following her back and noticed that she and I would often post things that were very similar. She would retweet something and I would as well. As this continued to occur, I thought that maybe I should look into her a bit more and try to find out what 'reiki' is.

First of all, I looked up the definition of Reiki online and found the following: 'a healing technique based on the principle that the therapist can channel energy into the patient by means of touch, to activate the natural healing processes of the patient's body and restore physical and emotional well-being.' Being a trained physician, I was somewhat skeptical after reading this, but went on to look at her website. At the top of the website are the words 'Recovery-Healing-Compassion." That sparked my interest. Compassionate healing on this long road of grief; that's what we all need. I certainly don't expect to ever really 'recover' from the death of Andy, but I do want to experience healing.

Looking even further on the website, I found myself more and more drawn to this method as having possible benefits. I decided to reach out and see if she would like to be on the show. She graciously accepted and what follows is our great conversation. Interestingly, she only founded the company 5 short years ago. She is an engineer by training and worked in cybersecurity for many years. Honestly, this was not what I had expected. She said that she did not go looking for reiki at all - it found her.

We also discuss the idea of opening up the conversation to talk about death, dying and grief. These are not subjects that should be considered taboo. Death is a part of life, and grief is due to having great love for a person. She certainly does not say that the Japanese healing method of reiki can completely solve one's grief or other physical problems. She instead says that reiki is a tool to be kept in your toolbox along with many others. Using these tools together can help people with healing and well-being, and hopefully make life a little less painful.

Facebook - Grief Reiki

Instagram and Twitter - @GriefReiki

Website -