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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.

Nov 10, 2022

Today’s guest, Melo, knows that her life changed in a moment 11 years ago when her infant daughter, Chloe, died. With that death, her life was split in two - the time before Chloe and her new life ‘After Chloe’. After Chloe died, Melo really threw herself into being her mother’s full-time caregiver, but after she died as well, she found herself in the depths of grief. 

Melo was in a deep, dark pit that seemed to have no way out. She struggled to even get out of bed each day. She gained 80 pounds. She even separated from her husband. People likely judged her from the outside, thinking she wasn’t trying to help herself heal, but that is far from the truth. Melo sought the help of 14 different therapists for her grief starting shortly after losing Chloe. With a background in psychology herself, she quickly learned that many therapists simply do not know how to help people grieve.

As Melo ever so slowly began to heal, she found herself drawn to help others in their grief. Eleven years ago, there were few resources for grief. Melo wanted to make sure that other bereaved people, especially bereaved parents, did not feel as alone as she had felt. Four years after Chloe died, a friend challenged her, saying, “what do you want to do with all that you know now?” She did not know the answer to the question immediately and told her friend just that. “I don’t know what to do,” she said, “all I know is that it will be called After Chloe because that is what my life is right now - After Chloe.”

Now, seven years later, After Chloe ( has become something so much bigger than Chloe and Melo themselves. After Chloe has become a community of grievers supporting each other. Melo shares her personal story with her over 16,000 Instagram followers helping them feel less alone. She sponsors a summit in December focusing on grieving during the holidays. Melo works to spread the message that everyone grieves in their own way, and not only is that OK, but it is actually good.