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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 24, 2022

I have often heard people being encouraged to be ‘thankful givers.’ It is supposed to inspire us to either give with a thankful heart or be thankful for a giving heart or something along those lines. When we are grieving, however, there is a new almost unimaginable challenge. Now, we are asked to be thankful with a grieving heart or grieve with a thankful heart. How is that even possible?
On this week’s podcast released on Thanksgiving Day in the US, Gwen and I really look at what it is like to be thankful during grief. From the outside, it may seem impossible, but it is not. It just can look very different than it used to look. At first, we may only be thankful for a few small things - a ray of sunshine, a hot bath, or an encouraging word from a friend. If that is all that your grieving heart can be thankful for, that can be enough.
I loved recording this Livestream episode because so many listeners commented and wrote in ahead of time. What really struck me was what really seemed to rise to the top of the thankfulness list is that we are thankful for each other. When I pour myself into you, you, in turn, pour yourself right back into me, and we both feel a little bit better.
This brings me back to that original phrase of being a ‘thankful giver.’ I think we are all at our best when we work together as thankful, giving grievers or grieving, thankful givers or even giving, thankful grievers. It doesn’t really matter what order the words are in. What matters is that they are all there. We grieve better in community, and I know that this year, I am so incredibly thankful for my not-so-little community of grievers. 
Thank you.