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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.

Feb 2, 2023

When I noticed that a podcast release day fell on Groundhog Day and it would be on a day when I would be recording with Gwen, I knew what the topic had to be. To me, grief feels a lot like the movie, Groundhog Day which was released 30 years ago. In the movie, Bill Murray gets trapped in a time loop where he needs to relive Groundhog Day each day with the same events happening over and over. Grief often feels that way. We feel like each day is exactly the same. Other people move on, but we are stuck in a continuous time loop.
In the early parts of the movie, the main character, Phil, gets more and more frustrated with his day repeating again and again. He becomes first confused, then angry, and at times, even despondent. That feels so much like grief. We cycle through all of these emotions but keep having to live the same nightmare day after day. 
By the end of the movie Groundhog Day, Phil eventually learns to make each day a little bit better than the last one. His heart ever so slowly begins to change and heal. This is what we can hope for in our own grief journeys. Although each day feels the same, ever so slowly, we can and do change. Through lots of hard work, we very can begin to see positive changes return to our lives and those around us.