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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 16, 2023

If Brooke was asked to describe her daughter, Libby, in one word, she selected ‘Joy’. Even as a baby, she was always happy. Her favorite phrase was, ‘This is the best day ever!’ The most amazing thing about Libby, however, was that she truly wanted everyone around her to have ‘the best day ever as well’ and she spent her time making sure that it was the best that she could make it.
When 10-year-old Libby died suddenly in a car accident last year, Brooke was devastated. Brooke thought that she had known grief. In fact, after losing both her sister and sister-in-law suddenly several years before, she lost her dad and step-mom within days of each other just months before Libby’s accident. This grief, however, was different. Libby was Brooke’s mini-me, her little shadow. Brooke felt like she didn’t even know who she was without Libby.
After Libby died, Brooke was constantly being asked how she was doing by well-meaning people. It was honestly overwhelming to try to answer them so Brooke did the thing that felt natural to her - Brooke wrote. Initially, it just seemed to be a good way to let people know how she was doing, but soon it became more than that. Soon, strangers began to read what she wrote on her blog as well as her @grievingmommy social media accounts on Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube.
Brooke began making videos and even started an online virtual support group. She is currently even writing a book which will be titled, ‘Grief Sucks, but Your Life Doesn’t Have To.’ In the depths of her own grief, Brooke is working to make the lives of other people just a little bit better. Brooke knows that she might not be able to make others have ‘the best day ever,’ but we both know that Libby would be proud of her mom as she tries.