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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 23, 2023

When Elizabeth found out she was pregnant with twins, she was overjoyed. Then Elizabeth and her husband learned one of their babies had significant birth defects. They had a life-changing decision to make. They could carry one healthy baby and sacrifice the second or try to carry both babies risking the health of both. In an instant, they decided Elizabeth would carry both twins and trust God to care for them. Elizabeth knew that baby Joseph may not be healed, but he was. He had numerous surgeries, but miraculously, was home from the hospital in less than 8 weeks.
Both boys grew up to be happy and healthy. They shared a room together, sat next to each other at school, and played numerous sports together. Elizabeth thought that she knew her life’s testimony. Joseph was a living miracle. They trusted in God and were blessed. Joseph would proudly show off his surgical scars, knowing that his life was a miracle.
Almost 3 years ago, however, everything changed. Joseph was killed in an ATV accident on the farm with his brother at his side. Elizabeth was devastated. She fell into deep depression. Elizabeth had her faith tested in those days, weeks, and months after losing Joseph, but God did not abandon her. She clung to the fact that Jesus wept, and she allowed herself to weep as well. If you ask Elizabeth today how to get through the first weeks and months after child loss, she will tell you to read your Bible and get a good psychologist. Surround yourself with people who support you and will offer love and encouragement. 
Every day, Elizabeth reminds herself of this truth - God will have good come from this. Since the accident, Elizabeth and her family have seen good happen after Joseph's tragic death. They started the Joseph Warlick Memorial Foundation (@allinforever11 on Facebook/Instagram) to keep Joseph's sweet spirit and love for soccer alive. They partnered with TOPSoccer to start a local soccer team for children with special needs. For Elizabeth, game nights are her favorite of the week, and she knows that seeing kids having fun playing soccer would make Joseph smile.